The Potential Danger of Excess Screen Time

We would like to wish you a very Happy New Year!

Many parents have been telling us they are concerned about the potential impact of too much screen time on their kids. Some parents have asked us if blue glasses help. The answer is, while they may help a little, it is only by minimizing the amount of blue light. It does not help with the fact that people are looking at digital screens for too long throughout the day.

A recent article from Italy regarding the impact of too much screen time during this pandemic was published in the top ophthalmological journal, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus. The article featured four children who all developed an eye turn and double vision as a result of spending too much time doing schoolwork, social media or playing on tablets, phones or computers.

The children included two girls, one 4 years old and the other 8 years old, along with two boys who were 16 years old. They all developed an eye turn after spending 8 to 10 hours a day using computers, tablets, and smartphones to play, access school lessons, and navigate social networks.

About four years ago a study was performed in South Korea which found twelve teenagers who developed eye turns after using their smartphones for more than four hours a day.

We are finding that each child is different in terms of how much screen time they can tolerate. We have also seen a number of children who have developed eye turns as a result of too much screen time. In addition, we have seen children who are becoming more nearsighted too quickly as a result.
Back in September of last year, we sent out a newsletter talking about the signs and symptoms to watch for, that indicates too much screen time. These signs and symptoms include:
* eyes feel strained and tired
* dry eyes
* headaches
* sensitivity to light
* neck pain
* blurred vision
* loss of productivity
* decreased vision at night

If you are concerned about the impact screen time is having on your child, it would be wise to schedule a Vision Evaluation as soon as possible. Please feel free to give us a call at (860) 434-2509.

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