It’s Back-to-School season, whether your children are in the classroom or learning at home. With the educational system relying more and more on technology, this means kids will have increased screen time on digital devices. This can carry into the evening hours as well with homework and virtual learning. Did you know this can put your child at risk for digital eye strain and fatigue?
How Digital Device Can Use Cause Eye Fatigue
From the moment we wake up until our heads hit the pillow, our eyes are hard at work. This is especially true with digital device use. Staring at a screen forces eye muscles to work overtime as they continuously shift, adjust, and refocus. This can cause eye fatigue, burning, watering, dryness, or itchiness. Eye strain can also lead to light sensitivity, headaches, and difficulty focusing ― all of which can pose challenges for kids.
Electronic Device Usage Is Increasing Among Children
According to an American Optometric Association survey, over 80% of children ages 10 to 17 estimate they use an electronic device for more than three hours each day. The same AOA survey found that over 33% of kids who use screens wait over an hour before taking a break. To prevent some of the symptoms associated with digital eye strain, remind your child during device use to follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain – that is, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Schedule An Annual Eye Exam For Your Child
More importantly, we recommend scheduling your child every year for a comprehensive eye exam. Even if your child isn’t experiencing any visual issues, it is still very important to check the overall the health of the eye and rule out the need for prescription glasses or vision problems that could interfere with school performance. If your child is already experiencing digital eye strain, he/she may benefit from an anti-fatigue lens prescribed specifically for computer time. This lens provides relief from eyestrain, reduces glare during device use, and protects young developing eyes from harmful blue light. Schedule your child’s eye exam today and make this “virtually” a 20/20 kind of school year!