As computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones saturate almost every aspect of our daily lives, it is only natural that they have become part of our children’s lives as well. Children it turns out are using digital devices as much if not more than their parents. Eye strain can be very hard on a growing child’s eyesight, causing headaches, neck pain, fatigue and blurry vision.
Children aren’t as aware as adults to these changes and may simply ignore them. They aren’t as aware of the hours they might be spending in front of computer screen, televisions and portable digital devices including game consoles. As today’s children spend more time inside than ever, there is higher probability of developing myopia or nearsightedness. Parents should look at limiting time spent on digital devices as well as encouraging children to step outside into the real world more often. Looking at something more than 20 feet away can greatly help eyes spending so much time looking at things measured within inches instead.
Another problem with children and digital devices is blue light. Mobile phones, tablets, TV screens and so on produce a very intense amount of blue light. Yes, the sun produces even more, but most of us, including our children, are spending some 6 hours a day in front of a digital device without the help of sunglasses. Blue light, especially at night can interfere with sleep patterns and hence can affect a child’s success at school. Blue light can also contribute to retinal damage and age-related macular degeneration later in life. While newer LED bulbs are addressing color temperatures, the brightness, and crispness of mobile phone displays are driven by blue light, so don’t expect that to change in the near future.
We have lenses that help cut the amount of blue light absorbed through the eyes for our patients and customers who wear eyeglasses. If your child does not wear eyeglasses, try cutting off the use of digital devices at least one hour and preferably two hours before bedtime.
Feel free to call us or email us if you have any questions about your children’s eyes. We are here to help.