If you have a job that involves staring at a computer screen, or are just REALLY into your phone, you probably already know what too much tech-time can do to your eyes. Well it looks like your mini me isn’t exempt from the computer-tablet-smartphone eye effect. According to the eye experts at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, excessive screen time can affect your kids’ vision too.

Nearsightedness (not being able to see closely clearly) is becoming increasingly more common. The rates of nearsightedness among Americans has almost doubled since 1971. So what’s going on here? New research published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s journal Ophthalmology found that near work activities (both screen and non-screen-related activities) may be one of the reasons for the increasing epidemic of nearsightedness.

Photo: Frank McKenna via Unsplash

Along with too much screen time, researchers also found that engaging in activities outdoors may have something to do with vision. The more time children, especially young children, spend outside, the slower the progression of nearsightedness is.

Along with blurry vision, experts also believe that too much time staring at screens can contribute to childhood dry eye, eye strain and headaches.

What can you do to help your child find relief from dry, strained computer/smartphone eyes? Forget about prescription computer glasses. Unless your child has a doctor’s diagnosis of nearsightedness, they don’t need special spectacles. Instead, make sure that your child takes 20 second breaks from serious screen-time every 20 minutes—the same goes for you!

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—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Rawpixel

 

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