Increased screen-time causing eye problems for children and adults

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to stay at home, but that has led to an increase in people using electronic devices and longer screen-times for both work and recreation.

Since the start of the pandemic, more people are home teleworking and spending hours at a time on their computers, phones and tablets. Children now are too with remote learning. But, what’s all that screen time doing to your eyes?

“That has been causing a lot of trouble focusing on their computer screens or getting more of that tired-eye or eye-strain feeling around their eyes. We call this computer vision syndrome,” Dr. Laura Suppa, Optometrist with Charleston Vision Source said.

Some of the symptoms involved with computer vision syndrome include the following.

“People will have dry eyes with the burning or the stinging, they will have kind of a headache around their eyes,” Dr. Suppa said.

CVS is caused by blue light on the end of the light spectrum near u-v light, which is emitted by screens.

To help protect yourself, Dr. Suppa recommends taking frequent breaks, blinking often and looking into the distance to rest your eyes.

“In the long-run, they also may think it may cause things like macular degeneration and cataracts like UV can, but what it can damage in your eyes is prevented a lot of the times or blocked by at least glasses that have blue light filter in them,” Dr. Suppa said.

Adults are not the only ones complaining about their eyes.  Virtual school is also having an impact on children.

“They’ll complain more about having headaches after they’ve spent several minutes reading or they’ll kind of talk about the distance being blurry,” Dr. Suppa said.

Dr. Suppa also says you can buy glasses with a blue light filter in them even if you don’t have a prescription to protect your eyes.

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