As both an ophthalmologist in Detroit and a parent, I often think about whether our society’s addiction to screens is healthy. The incidence of myopia, or nearsightedness, has nearly doubled in the US to 42%. Scientists are not sure if this is all related to increased use of cellphones or related to the increase in near work in general. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors in early childhood can slow the progression of nearsightedness.
Recommendations for children to avoid eyestrain when looking at phones, computers and tablets are similar to what we discuss with adults. The key recommendation is to look away from the device periodically, ideally out a window. Much of the eyestrain is related to the fact that we don’t blink as much when we are on the computer which causes dry eye. Ideally we should encourage our children to spend less time on these devices.
There is no evidence that buying special glasses for using on the computer is necessary or will protect the eyes.
If you have more questions about your eye care, contact us to Experience Excellence in Eye Care.