The Effect of Too Much Screen Time on Children’s Eyes

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More than ever, children spend a lot of time looking at screens, whether tablets, televisions, computers, or smartphones. All of that screen time can lead to screen eye strain. This can lead to vision changes, dry, irritated eyes, and trouble sleeping. At Baton Rouge Eye Physicians, our team can treat eye strain in patients of all ages. We specialize in diagnosing and treating eye disorders in Baton Rouge, LA.

Eye strain symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms experienced from too much screen time include:

  • Blurry vision: Looking at the same distance for an extended time causes the eye's focusing system to spasm or lock up temporarily. This is known as accommodation spasm and causes your child's vision to blur when they look away from the screen. This can lead to the development of nearsightedness.

  • Dry eyes: You blink less often when looking at digital screens, which will leave the eyes dry. Extended computer use can be hard on your child’s eyes as they tend to sit higher, which can cause the upper eyelids to be open wider, which speeds up the drying process.

  • Eye fatigue: The muscles around the eye can get tired from continued use. Concentrating on a screen for long periods of time can cause difficulty concentrating and headaches around the temple and eyes. Children may also use devices where lighting isn’t great, which leads to fatigue from squinting.

What you can do for your child’s eye health

When it comes to screen time and your child, there are some things you can do to help improve or stabilize their eye health, including:

  • Monitor screen time: Keep a balance between the real world and the digital world.

  • Get enough rest: Don’t allow your children to sleep with devices in their rooms. Have them log off at least one hour before bed, as using devices near bedtime can affect their ability to fall asleep effectively.

  • Take breaks: Initiate frequent breaks to help reduce eye strain symptoms. The American Optometric Association recommends the 20/20/20 rule, which says to look away from the screen every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

  • Focus on lighting: To reduce eye fatigue, ensure the lighting in the room they’re using a device is well-lit. Also, decrease the brightness of the screen. For children who wear eyeglasses, our team at Baton Rouge Eye Physicians can add an anti-reflective coating to them to help with glare.

Why regular vision screenings for your child is important

It’s important that you schedule regular eye exams for your child in Baton Rouge, LA, whether or not they’re experiencing vision problems. Their eyes should be checked beginning at birth and every year thereafter. During a visit to Baton Rouge Eye Physicians, we can evaluate your child’s eye and make suggestions on improving your child’s vision, especially if they use devices often. To schedule an appointment, call our team of eye specialists today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.