This school year, many kids in Bend, OR, are spending more time in front of computer screens thanks to virtual learning. While the ability to participate in remote learning during the pandemic has huge advantages, there are some downsides, especially when it comes to the eyes. Many children and adults are suddenly experiencing digital eye strain. So, what is digital eye strain and how can we protect our kids? Our optometrist at Cascade Eyecare has the answers.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain, which is sometimes referred to as computer vision, is the result of using a computer screen or electronic device for long periods. Blue light, screen glare, and the angle at which kids face the screen all play a contributing role. Although digital eye strain isn’t thought to cause long-term damage, it is uncomfortable and can cause blurry vision in the short-term. Additional symptoms include eye twitching, headaches, itchy eyes, and dry eyes.
Protection from Digital Eye Strain
To prevent digital eye strain, it is important to place limits on eye strain and to create the best situation possible when using electronic screens. Start by setting up the screen for the best ergonomic situation for your child. You never want a child to be too close to a screen, so be sure your child is sitting at least two feet back. Then, position the screen so that it is roughly five inches below eye level.
Another good technique is to use the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of screen time, kids should refocus their eyes on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives their eyes a break to readjust before returning to their online learning or other on-screen activities. It is also important that children take longer breaks throughout the day to get away from the computer or television, move around a bit and focus on other things.
Optometry Services in Bend, OR
With limits on screen time, frequent breaks, and proper positioning, it should be possible to prevent digital eye strain. However, if the symptoms continue, it is important to see an optometrist as soon as possible. Our team at Cascade Eyecare is ready to help, so give us a call today at 541-382-2020.