Is screen time a problem?
The invention of the smartphone came with some pretty heavy repercussions. Now more than ever, across the globe, people are spending more time behind screens. Of course, we had no clue what would follow at the start of the age of technology, although we have to acknowledge the strain on our eyes. Those who have so much
more to lose to the screen are children. With excessive screen time, children are also experiencing a lack of socialization, and health concerns like obesity, amongst other issues. What healthy habits can you begin to implement to reduce the strain on your eyes and our more vulnerable counterparts, children and elders?
We’ve seen and helped others see more clearly at Utah Eye Center. But, we’ve also seen children habitually pushing things to the limit. If you’ve ever caught a preteen simultaneously using a tablet, a phone, all with the TV blaring, then you understand!
As parents, how do we provide a healthy balance for our children while serving as the example ourselves?
With overall health and well-being at the center of the issue, parents are adopting a proactive approach, taking matters into their own hands to encourage healthier habits and minimize screen time.
Before we go on to prevention, let’s go over what you should look for concerning your eyes and screen time for you and your family.
Issues associated with screen abuse
Eye fatigue: Chances are anyone who has spent much time in front of a screen, whether for work, school, or voluntary purposes, has experienced eye fatigue.
Fatigue of the eyes or asthenopia could contribute to an inability to focus, headaches, and eye pain.
Nearsightedness: “Screen kids” typically prefer the comforts of the home to enjoy their devices. The problem is our eyes, especially in adolescents, require natural sunlight for proper development.
Spending too much time exposed to artificial light from the screen can increase the presence of nearsightedness.
Dryness and irritation: Eyes require consistent moisture for proper functionality. We restore the moisture to our eyes when we blink. Studies show that people blink significantly less when focused on a screen.
Blinking may seem like a quick fix, but that extended periods of dryness contribute to the decline of your eyes’ overall well-being.
Preventative Eye Health Tips
Limiting Screen Time: The best way to deal with this problem is by getting ahead of the problem. However, limiting screen time may negatively affect a few immediate things, like your child’s mood and level of distraction.
For children: keep an alternative form of distraction to keep their attention during those times you cannot be their entertainment. Begin creating healthy boundaries with screen time, set timers, and use it as a reward rather than a free-for-all.
For adults: Set boundaries for yourself, and remember to take frequent breaks to rest your eyes while working in intervals.
Snare the glare: we’re all familiar with that annoying glare screens have. Unfortunately, this glare is not only irritating, but it’s also harmful to your eyes.
To manage this glare, change your screen’s brightness settings or invest in an anti-glare screen protector.
Protecting your eyes from the harms of everyday lifestyle can be challenging, but no challenge outweighs the benefits of sight! Utah Eye Centers want to help you and your family see more clearly. So visit our practice today for an examination and consultation with a board-certified ophthalmologist!