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Your Child’s Eyes and the iPad

·        How long does your child spend using electronic devices every day? According to an AOA survey, it may be more than you think:


·        83% of children said they spend at least three hours a day using electronic devices, while the majority of parents grossly underestimate the duration of their kids’ daily device use. Prolonged technology use can lead to digital eye strain:


·        Doctor’s note: “Each year when school starts we see an increase in kids complaining of symptoms synonymous with eye strain. Essentially, they’re going from being home over the summer with a minimal amount of time spent using their devices back to a classroom full of technology, and their time on devices often doubles, leading to eye strain.” – Dr. Lori Roberts


·        Has your child complained of burning, itchy or tired eyes after using electronic devices? These are symptoms of digital eye strain, and 4 out of 5 children report experiencing these symptoms.


·        Digital eye strain is a temporary vision condition caused by prolonged use of technology. Symptoms include burning, itching or tired eyes, headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain.


·        Decrease the effects of digital eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away. It’s a great tip for you and your kids to follow!


·        Almost 1/3 of children use technology for a full hour before taking a visual break. Make sure that your kids know and use the 20-20-20 rule and take a break every 20 minutes!


·        Did you know that there are lenses specifically designed for computer use – even if you don’t normally wear glasses? Talk to your eye doctor to see if these lenses are right for your kids.


·        Optometrists are concerned that blue light rays emitted from everyday electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and TVs, could affect and age the eyes.  That’s another good reason to limit your kids’ time on these devices.

·        Did you know your computer screen should be positioned 4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from eyes? Handheld devices should be held slightly below eye level.

·        Two simple ways to protect your eyes against digital eye strain when working on electronic devices are to increase the text size and blink frequently! Your eyes won’t have to work as hard when you’re reading and blinking keeps the surface of the eyes moist, preventing dry, itchy eyes!

Make sure your back-to-school checklist includes a comprehensive eye exam! The Pediatric Essential Health Benefit in the Affordable Care Act covers a yearly comprehensive eye exam for all children through the age of 18.  Take advantage and schedule an appointment today!

Do you know when to take your child for their first eye exam? The AOA recommends children have their first eye exam soon after 6 months of age and again by age 3.

·        One in four children have an undetected vision problem! Millions of children will start school this year with an impairment that may not only affect their school work but their day-to-day lives. Schedule an eye exam today.