Back to School 2023: 1 out of 4 Kids In The U.S. Has A Significant Vision Impairment

Back To School 2023…Kids’ Eye Health And Learning Abilities

As the school year starts, it’s important to prioritize eye care and exams for students. Proper vision is crucial for learning and it’s alarming to know that one in four children in the U.S. have vision impairments significant enough to affect their education. Research shows that 80% of a child’s learning up to age 12 is through their vision. Vision issues can impact a child’s confidence, social skills, and overall participation in activities like sports, art, and music. Therefore, it’s recommended that children have a comprehensive eye exam before returning to school. If a child has no vision impairments, they should be examined at ages 3 and 5 or 6, before starting first grade.

Vision impairments are often overlooked as they may not be apparent to the child. Blurry eyesight may seem normal to them and go unnoticed. Unlike hunger or tooth decay, vision issues are not as obvious. This is where parents, family members, and teachers can play a crucial role in identifying vision problems and advocating for proper eye care. Regular eye exams and eyeglasses, if needed, should be a priority for children’s vision health.

“The Strain of Virtual Learning”

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has reported that excessive use of digital screens can lead to a condition known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. Digital eye strain refers to a group of eye and vision-related issues that arise from prolonged use of digital devices. The more time students spend online, the more likely they are to experience eye strain and convergence insufficiency. In fact, 57% of students experience eye strain, and 61% show symptoms of convergence insufficiency. Among those experiencing convergence insufficiency, 17% are considered to have severe cases.

A recent research report from ophthalmologists at Wills Eye Hospital has confirmed that excessive screen time can lead to more eye strain in children. The study also suggests that eye strain can result in convergence insufficiency, a troubling eye condition that makes reading difficult. Digital eye strain occurs when there is excessive exposure to a computer screen or other digital devices, leading to eye and vision-related problems. Symptoms of digital eye strain include

Digital eye strain, causing eye and vision-related problems, occurs when there is excess exposure to a computer screen or other digital devices. Symptoms include:

  • Eye Discomfort
  • Eye Fatigue
  • Dry eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Uncorrected vision/hidden health problems may also contribute to eye strain

 Avoiding/Reducing Eye Strain

The Mayo Clinic reports that treatment for eyestrain consists of adjusting to your daily habits or your environment. There may be underline conditions that require some individuals to have treatment. Also

Below are things that you can do to avoid and or reduce eye strain:

  • Wear glasses for specific activities like computer use and or reading
  • Take regular eye breaks to help refocus your eyes
  • Close blinds and/or shades
  • Avoid placing your monitor directly in front of a window or white wall
  • Place an anti-glare cover over the screen
  • Adjust your monitor to a position that reduces strain
  • Always put the monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level

 The Mayo Clinic Suggests The Following Specific To Behavior And Lifestyle

  • Adjust the lightning
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Limit time on a computer screen and digital devices
  • Use artificial tears
  • Improve your space air quality
  • Choose the appropriate eyewear
Tips For Computers And Other Digital Devices (Mayo Clinic)
  • Refresh your eyes by blinking often
    • Take eye breaks, the 20-20-20 rule; look at something every 20 minutes, 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
  • Reduce your glare by adjusting the lighting
  • Adjust your monitor/adjust the position of your digital device
  • Use a document holder
  • Adjust the screen

Contact us immediately if you are experiencing any eye strain conditions. We are here for you to answer all your question about eye strain resulting from too much computer and digital devices exposure, and how to protect your children in the digital technology era.

 

 

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Dr. Lori Landrio, Optometrist
2469 Merrick Road
Bellmore, NY 11710

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