DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Schools around the country are beginning to incorporate computers and digital technologies into their curriculum.
This causes students to stare at screens more frequently and puts more strain on their eyes.
“One of the biggest things we have noticed is an increase in nearsightedness,” Chief Optometrist of Vision Center South, Dr. Jordan Johnson said. “It has been a long-established issue with constant or really frequent near work.”
Another problem that has been seen with children’s vision is the exposure to blue light that radiates from digital devices.
Johnson says it may even affect their sleep.
“Disruption in your circadian rhythm, and that’s connected to the blue light coming off of electronic devices,” Johnson said. “That blue light basically tells your brain ‘Hey it’s time to wake up. It’s time to be alert”
Johnson also says that you may begin to notice signs that your child’s vision may need to be looked at by an optometrist.
“You know squinting for sure,” Johnson said. “You may still notice that like whenever they are watching TV, or if they are having to get up from the couch or get closer.”
In adults’ eyes, optometrists are seeing a similar problem as children, but their condition is known as Computer Vision Syndrome, and Johnson says that blinking can help somewhat remedy this issue.
“Really, it is correctible with just remembering to blink, take a break,” Johnson said. “I really like to recommend the 20-20-20 rule, where like every 20 minutes or so, just take twenty seconds and just blink a few times and look far away.”
Johnson also recommends that children take breaks during their time with the computer, and to make sure their prescription is up to date.