Digital eye strain in children

If you are a parent, you may be a little concerned about the length of time your children spend in front of a digital screen. It may be because they are watching the next big YouTuber doing stupid stuff or playing Fortnite until the early hours of the morning. Your concern may be justified!



What is digital eye strain?


Digital Eye Strain also known as Computer Vision Syndrome is caused by too much screen time on digital devices such as computers, smart-screens, tablets and other digital devices!


Over the past decade there has been a rapid increase in the use of digital devices both in schools and at home!


Why is it bad for my children to spend too much time in front of a digital screen?


Blue light emission is naturally found in sunlight but is also found in all our devices. In young children their eyes are still developing, and blue light can penetrate directly into the retina.


Ask your child how their eyes are feeling. Very young children may not be able to understand how to do this so watch for signs of them feeling tired and rubbing their eyes!


Symptoms of digital eye strain


Here are some of the top digital eye strain symptoms that your child may show:/;

  • Burning, itchy or tired eyes

  • Blurred vision

  • Headaches and fatigue

  • Head and neck pain

The 20-20-20 rule


You can help your child by encouraging frequent breaks. In older children the 20-20-20 rule can help:


Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds!

Don’t worry you don’t have to get out your tape measure, just focus on something at the other side of the room or out of the window! It takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to completely relax!


Other ways you can reduce eye strain

  • Use night settings on digital devices to reduce the amount of blue light.

  • Turn devices off an hour before bedtime.

  • Wearing blue light glasses or computer glasses.

Seek advice from a qualified optometrist


It is very important to get your child’s eyes tested if you have any concerns about digital eye strain. Even at the age of four to five, your local optician will be able to fully test the eyesight of your child.

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Always consult a qualified optometrist to confirm a diagnosis!

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