Screen Time Troubles

BY Jon Beeson

Imagine this, on average, an American adult in the working class spends 7-8 hours per day on a computer or tablet for work purposes. That doesn’t even take into account the additional time on cell phones or additional time on digital devices for leisure or play. This long term screen time can cause eye discomfort and vision problems. Now imagine, we are currently in a world where we are necessitated to subject our children with extended screen time due to the Corona virus epidemic. Now that school has resumed across the state, many school districts have instituted fully remote learning platforms for children to learn from. But what is this new platform doing to our children’s eyes, and what can we do about it??


Worried about the amount of screen time that new schooling formats have implemented? We are too! Here are a few tips to help protect your children’s eyes as they increase the time spent in front of the computer during the online learning period.


1) Frequent breaks- taking frequent breaks from looking at the computer screen or books is necessary to allow the focusing system in the yes to relax. Use the “20/20/20” rule…. which states that after every 20 minutes of near work, stop, look in the distance (20 feet away) for 20 seconds.


2) Hold devices further away from your face. Holding devices closely forces us to converge our eyes, accommodate, and put excessive strain on our focusing system which ultimately can cause fatigued eyes and potentially additional headaches.


3) Watch your children and their mannerisms when they are on the computer. Are they squinting, continually moving closer and then farther away from the screen, closing one eye or tilting their heads to the side, or even perhaps constantly complaining of tired eyes or headaches? These are all signs that your child may need glasses or an updated prescription.


4) Lubricating eye drops… and then more eye drops! Using lubricating eye drops regularly can help prevent dryness that can cause additional irritation and fluctuating vision problems.


5) Schedule regular eye exams. This seems simple enough but the reality is that most parents don’t know that that their child is having troubles with their vision because the children don’t know they have a problem.


We at Payson Eye Care Center care. We care about all of our patients, but especially the youth in our small town. We also empathize with the growing concerns that have rightfully arisen with the changes that have taken place. We also understand that with change and the challenges that change brings, we can help each other better if we do it together. Make your appointment today and come visit us at Payson Eye Care Center, and let us help you and your children see the change,..better!