7 Ways to Reduce Eye and Vision Problems

By Shannon Gurnee
In Back-to-School
August 11, 2014
37 Comments
3282 Views

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I don’t know about your kids, but our kids love to play on their Samsung tablets, on the Playstation and on our iPhones.  I think the usage of technology is a lot higher now than it was when I was a kid, and that being the case, there is a higher need for our children to wear glasses.  Of my 3 boys, 2 of them need to wear glasses on a regular basis.  I found out that both boys needed glasses during an exam with their pediatrician.  From there we visited an optometrist and it was confirmed they needed to wear eyeglasses.  

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The use of technology among our children both at home and in the classroom has increased over the years.  According to a new survey from the American Optometric Association (AOA), parents drastically underestimate the time their children spend on digital devices.  Another AOA survey reported that 83 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 estimate they use an electronic device for three or more hours each day.  And yet another AOA survey of parents revealed that only 40 percent of parents believe their children use an electronic device for that same amount of time.  Most parents believe the time their kids spend time using technology is far less than what it is.

With the use of technology on the rise comes the increase of cases of digital eye strain – a temporary vision condition caused by prolonged use of technology.  Eighty percent of children surveyed report to have experienced burning, itchy or tired eyes after using electronic devices for long periods of time.  Not only is digital eye strain experienced, but other symptoms are as well, including headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain.

Optometrist are growing increasingly concerned about the types of light that are emitted from everyday electronic devices.  The high-energy, short-wavelength blue light and their rays can affect and even age the eyes.  As parents, we want to protect our children and keep them safe.  The American Optometric Association recommends a few ways we can help to protect our children’s eyes and prevent or reduce eye and vision problems associated with digital eye strain and exposure to blue light.

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7 WAYS TO REDUCE EYE AND VISION PROBLEMS

1 – Check the height and position of the device.  Computer screens should be at least four to five inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes.  Digital devices should be held a safe distance away from eyes and slightly below eye level.

2 – Check for glare on the screen.  Windows or other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of a computer monitor.  If this does happen, be sure to turn the desk or computer away so as to prevent glare on the screen.  You might also consider adjusting the brightness of the screen on your digital device or changing its background color.

3 – Reduce the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen.  A lower-wattage light can be substituted for a bright overhead light or you might even consider installing a dimmer switch so there is more flexible control of the room’s lighting.

4 – Adjust the font size.  Increasing the size of the text on the screen of the device will also make it easier on your eyes when reading.  I can attest that this helps as I do when I work on my computer.

5 – Keep blinking.  Frequent blinking can help reduce the chances for developing dry eye by keeping the front surface of the eye moist. 

6 – Practice the 20-20-20 rule.  When it comes to electronic devices, we need to make sure we encourage them to take frequent visual breaks.  Children should practice the 20-20-20 rule.  This is where they take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something that is 20 feet away whenever they are using technology.  

7 – Visit your optometrist for comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis.  By doing this, your optometrist will be able to identify the signs and symptoms associated with digital eye strain and other vision problems.  The American Optometric Association recommends that every child have an eye exam by an optometrist soon after six months of age, before age three and every year thereafter.  Thanks to the Pediatric Essential Health Benefit in the Affordable Act, our children have the benefit of yearly comprehensive eye exams through 18 years of age.

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Be sure to follow the American Optometric Association on Twitter and Facebook for new information and updates.

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for the American Optometric Association.
I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

About Has 1259 Posts

Shannon Gurnee (formerly Shannon Gosney) is the author of The Mommy-Files, a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

37 Responses to “7 Ways to Reduce Eye and Vision Problems”

  1. Cynthia R says:

    I never thought about the use of electronics effecting eyesight. of course I remember growing up my mom used to tell me sitting too close to the TV was bad for me and I am blind as a bat.

  2. Jaime says:

    These are great tips. My son doesn’t use a computer (yet) but is occasionally using the iPad. I have to monitor his time on that and sometimes it’s hard to know when it is too much!

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    My kids are too young to use my laptop, but I never really thought about them looking at their kindles too closely. It makes sense, though.

  4. I learned about the 202020 rule when I worked in an office. If I didn’t take breaks, I would get the worst optical headaches.

  5. I’ve never heard of the 20-20-20 rule but it makes complete sense. I’m going to start doing that everyday!

  6. What great points! I always make sure my son has the tablet or what ever he is playing at a certain distance and angle!

  7. Ashley M says:

    I suffer from this myself! My doctor also told me about the 20-20-20 rule and I try to practice it frequently.

  8. I had never heard of the 20-20-20 rule before. Thanks for sharing these tips. My whole family is always on some type of device so this is a great post for us.

  9. I had never heard of the 20-20-20 rule before either. All of us could use these tips, because even as a blogger who isn’t using electronics for fun, I am on them a lot for work. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Terry says:

    I guess with technology, comes problems like these with kids. I would have never thought that young kids could get eyestrain like they do today.

  11. Great tips! Eyes are so important. 2 of my LO wear glasses, 1 had surgery at age 2 on hers and my other is having his in October.

  12. Chrysa says:

    These are such valuable tips. Our eyesight is so precious that we need to do everything we can to protect it.

  13. aimee fauci says:

    Very true in so many ways. I try to limit my girls computer time but this is an even better reason to limit it. Good tip on reducing the lighting.. I did not know that.

  14. Dawn says:

    These are great tips. With all the computer work we do, it’s important to make sure our eyes are protected.

  15. Courtney says:

    I love these tips. I have glasses, but my daughter doesn’t. I want to keep it that way, so I’ll be sure that she follows these tips.

  16. Ashley says:

    These are such great tips, and things that we often overlook. With increased technology use both for school and for fun, it ca be so hard on their eyes. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Shell says:

    I worry about my kids’ eyes with all their tablet usage. Thanks for these helpful tips!

  18. These are some great tips! I have been worrying about my daughter’s eyesight.

  19. Cinny says:

    Even I get way too much screen time because of work!

  20. Brett says:

    There’s a lot in our lives that disrupts our eyes. We need to do what we can to protect them!!

  21. The balloon is amazing! LOL! And because you reminded me, I kept blinking throughout this post. 🙂

  22. These are great tips and reminders for us as parents especially when the ipads and tablets are SO popular with the kiddos!! thanks for sharing

  23. maria says:

    Great tips! I know I have problems especially if I am on a device or computer for too long.

  24. I need to keep an eye on my sons eyes. I think my husband, their dad, started wearing glasses at an earlier age. So it is definitely something for me to be aware of.

  25. Emily says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have a feeling with all of this technology, there will be more eye issues associated with use.

  26. Veronica says:

    Thanks for the tips. My daughter is already in glasses. My son has been complaining about his eyes. I will be taking him in for a check up

  27. Christie says:

    Kids and adults suffer! I know that I definitely do and need to watch my blogging time

  28. Thanks for all of these great tips. I have vision problems that I don’t want to pass on to my daughter so if I can’t help genetics at least I can do these things.

  29. I have Computer Vision Syndrome. Been working on a PC for at least 20 years now. So my glasses have special lenses. Sucks cause they cost more. Such great tips.

  30. Tess says:

    We have the same problem at our house. Now my youngest needs glasses. I’m terrible at keeping them off of them.

  31. Thanks for the tips! My vision has gotten worse each year.

  32. Rosey says:

    These are all great tips. I didn’t think about the blinking one, but that’s a good one too, and I bet everyone who read it immediately blinked. 😉 Hubby and I were just talking about our children’s eyes being ill-affected by their tablets. We all do get a lot of screen time, in one way or another.

  33. Felicia says:

    These are such great tips. What a wonderful reminder for parents.

  34. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Thanks for these tips! Thankfully my 5 year old passed her vision test yesterday. but I find myself needing to apply these tips to my own habits.

  35. Liz Mays says:

    Yikes! I can see where eye strain issues would be on the rise due to electronics usage. I know my eyes get blurry if I look at my laptop too long. It takes about an hour for the blurriness to go away.

  36. Thanks for the tips. I’m glued to my screen all day long. Wonder if my lenses are the best for that.

  37. This is a great post. With tablets, video games, and smartphones, it’s so important that we remember to make sure our kids take breaks. We’ve got to protect those little peepers.

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