How Excessive Screen Time Affects Your Child’s Eyes
There are plenty of reasons to reduce your kid’s screen time. You can do it to encourage them to go out outdoors and engage in physical activities, to enhance sleep, to help them socialize…and of course, to improve the health of their eyes.
Excessive screen time for kids may seem harmless on the surface but overtime, it can have a serious impact on a child’s vision.
Here’s how too much screen time affects your child’s health:
It Leads to Nearsightedness
The more time your child stares into a screen, the less time they spend outdoors. Kids need a certain level of natural daylight for the healthy development of their eyes. Some exposure to daylight isn’t just essential for our bodies but also our eyes.
New studies reveal that when children spend too much time indoors, they have a greater chance of developing myopia aka nearsightedness.
In the last three decades, we’ve seen a significant increase in people developing nearsightedness.
Have you ever noticed the intensity with which your child stares into the screen? It’s quite common for children to do so when playing games on their devices or watching something of great interest.
It’s unnatural for our bodies to stare at things from short distances with so much intensity. It strains our pupils and causes eye fatigue.
Prolonged focus on a screen from short-distances leads to eye strain and causes glare.
Dry Eyes and Irritation
Staring into the screen for long periods of time causes dry eyes and irritation. When we’re in front a screen we blink a lot less than usual. As a result, your eyes dry out and get irritated.
This is an even bigger problem for little kids who look up at screens.
Loss of Focus Flexibility
Staring at things at close distances for long durations impacts your focus flexibility. Usually our eyes are easily able to adapt to different distances. However, when we’re constantly looking at short distances, it becomes much harder for our eyes to adjust to longer distances.
Adults are advised to put away their phones (and other screen devices) at least a couple of hours before they intend to sleep. This is because the blue light emitted from our devices impacts the brain’s sleep patterns.
Our brains mistake the bright light as “daytime” and switches up the body’s circadian rhythm. For kids, prolonged screen time is even worse because they are usually playing games and watching stimulating content that gets them excited when they really should be preparing for sleep.
So what can parents do to help?
Eye specialists advise parents to keep a limit on their child’s screen time; they shouldn’t be spending more than 2 hours on a screen per day. The younger they are, the less their screen time should be. Keeping “no device” zone in the house is another simple way to restrict screen time. Another easy way to reduce screen time is to ban children from using devices in their bedrooms.
If your child is having trouble with eyestrain and bad vision, head to Dr. Gilberg & Associates. We are one of the best optometrist in miami. Our services include eye exams, ocular emergencies, Lasik evaluations and more.
Contact us today to book an appointment.