Technology is am enhancement in education, but too much screen time could impact children’s vision.
Dr. Kathleen Elliot, Pediatric Optometrist at His Vision for Children in Tulsa, says that computer vision syndrome affects 5 million adults and now she is seeing more children suffer from similar eye problems.
“We are seeing an increase in dry eye syndrome because what happens is that children, and adults, don’t blink as often when they are staring at the screen for a prolonged period of time,” said Dr. Elliot.
Dr. Elliot told FOX23 she noticed children with moderate near or far sightedness might have increased symptoms because of computer or television screens.
Dr. Elliot said she doesn’t discourage technology use for children because she says it is a positive and valuable education tool.
However, she says it is important to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics
guidelines and limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
Screen time includes; television, computer, computer games, video games, and hand held video games, and iPads.
Certain signs and symptoms might tip parents off that their children are experiencing a problem with their eye sight according to Dr. Elliot.
“What parents need to look for is burning or watery eyes, children rubbing their eyes, complaining of frequent headaches or don’t want to read anymore,” said Dr. Elliot.
Dr. Elliot reiterated that iPads and computers are not bad. She says they are often used by optometrists to help patients strengthen their eye muscles and hand eye coordination by playing certain games.
“I think balance is the key to life,” said Dr. Elliot. She added that moderation is an important element to help keep screen time fun and educational for children.
She advises parents to check with their pediatrician or optometrist if they are concerned about their child’s vision.