Aspire Health and the American Academy of Ophthalmology share tips to help protect children’s eyes from too much screen time | Click on the section


When Covid-19 first shut down classrooms, we got glimpses of various digital challenges. Among them, Children are not immune To develop tired and dry eyes from long periods of focusing on laptops and tablets. The discomfort took some to their eye doctor for relief. To prepare students and their families for the new school year, Aspirus Health And The American Academy of Ophthalmology is sharing tips to help prevent it. Digital eye strain.

“I was worried about digital eye before the recent events,” says Stephen Lipsky, MD, a pediatric ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. But in my practice, I have seen a significant increase in children suffering from eye problems due to increased screen time. The good news is that many symptoms can be avoided by taking a few simple steps.”

The simple truth behind headaches, blurred vision and fatigue and dry eyes is that we don’t blink too often while using computers and other digital devices, making our eyes dry and irritated. Also, when we focus on the same distance for long periods of time, our vision becomes blurred and the muscles around the eyes get tired, which causes headaches. Prolonged reading, writing, or other intensive work can cause near eye strain.

“When a child reaches school age, vision and eye position should be checked,” he said Dustin Wasylik, Ph.D. Ophthalmologist at Aspris Health. “Treating any issues as soon as possible is the best thing you can do to protect their vision.”

To address this problem, ophthalmologists—physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care—recommend taking a 20-second break from work every 20 minutes. Here are some tips to help parents remind children to follow this important rule:

  • Set a timer. Whether it’s a kitchen timer or a smart device, use it to remind your child to take a break every 20 minutes.
  • Alternative e-book reading to a real book. Encourage children to look up and out the window every couple of steps or simply close their eyes for 20 seconds.
  • Mark books every few chapters in advance with paper clips. Remind them to look up when they reach for the paper clip. On an e-book, use the “bookmark” function for the same effect.

Good ergonomics is as important as resting the eyes regularly. We tend to use digital devices at less than ideal distances and angles. Set up a “home office” for your kids to encourage good posture and better habits. Follow these tips to optimize your workspace:

  • Make sure they are viewing laptops at arm’s length, 18 to 24 inches from where they are sitting. Ideally, they should have a monitor placed directly in front of the body, at eye level. Tablets should also be kept at arm’s length.
  • Place the light source behind the computer screen rather than behind it to reduce glare.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast on the screen to make them feel comfortable.
  • Do not use the device outdoors or in brightly lit areas; The reflection on the screen can cause eye strain.
  • Avoid using the device in a dark room. As the pupil dilates to accommodate the darkness, the brightness of the screen can worsen the afterimage and cause discomfort.
  • Place the device 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. Blue light can disturb sleep. For your procrastinating toddlers, switch to “Night mode” or similar mode to reduce blue light exposure.

Finally, make sure they are Spend some time outdoors. Computer use and other nearby work activities may be driving a Nearsightedness in children is a worldwide epidemicAlthough this is not yet confirmed. However, many studies have shown that spending time outdoors, especially during early childhood, can reduce nearsightedness.

For more information about eye health, visit www.eyesmart.org

Visit to learn more about Aspirus Eye Center in Ironwood aspirus.org.



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