How Too Much Screen Time Could be Damaging a Child’s Eyes

  • By:Dr. Katie Dugan

Many parents can relate to the battle of trying to manage a child’s screen time during the day. Not only do children want to watch movies, but they are often reaching for smartphones and tablets to play games or talk with their friends.

There are benefits to helping your child learn how to use these devices. But, you need to be careful to manage the time to protect the child’s development and eyesight.

Increased Risk of Myopia

A recent study found that children who spend seven hours or more in front of a screen each week have a higher risk of myopia, also known as nearsightedness. The rates of these eye problems have increased in the past 50 years, and many eye doctors are finding correlations between screen time and a higher risk of vision problems.

Not only does the light from the devices cause eye fatigue. But, children are spending less time outside in the sun. It has been found that sunlight is an important factor to help with vision protection. Sun exposure affects dopamine, and this neurotransmitter is essential to manage the shape of the eye in childhood.

How Much Time Does Your Child Spend Online?

If you want to protect your child’s developing eyes, then your best solution is to work with an experienced eye doctor for personal recommendations. You don’t need to keep the child away from all devices. But, it is best to limit the daily time based on the age of the child.

Also, watch for signs that your child might be suffering from myopia, such as loss of attention, squinting, or complaints about headaches. You might also notice a change in behavior. For example, if a child previously loved to read and then they suddenly stopped reading, then it could be the result of a vision problem.

Partnering with an experienced eye care center is an important step to protect your family’s vision. Our team is always here to answer your questions and help you explore the options that are available for each member of your family. Contact us at the Temecula office at (951) 302-1331 or our Murrieta office at (951) 600-9226.

Posted in: Eye Health