Many schools have switched to online learning during the pandemic. Now, eye doctors are seeing an increase in digital eye strain and other conditions in children that can be attributed to their increased use of digital devices. Here are a few ways that online school could impact your children’s eyes.

Risk of Digital Eye Strain

Children who are attending online school are at a higher risk of developing digital eye strain because of the length of time they are staring at a computer screen. It only takes a few hours for this to happen and is generally caused because they are not blinking their eyes enough or because of eye fatigue.

Signs that your child might have digital eye strain include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty concentrating

What Can Parents Do?

Unlike screen time that is related to playing video games or using a tablet or smartphone, it may not be easy to reduce the amount of time your child is on their computer for online school. However, there are things parents can do to minimize the risk of digital eye strain for their children.

  • Enable the blue light filter on the computer screen or apply an exterior blue light filter.
  • Increase the text size on the screen.
  • Place the screen at a comfortable distance approximately one arm’s length away.
  • Encourage your child to blink their eyes often to refresh and lubricate their eyes.
  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule by setting a time to remind them to look away from their screens every 20 minutes at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Speak to your eye doctor about upgrading current prescriptions or a new prescription for computer eyewear to protect your child’s eyes during extended computer use.

If your child is showing signs of digital eye strain, it is time to visit your eye doctor. Call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 or go online to schedule an appointment at one of our two locations in Phoenix.