With more children and adults staying home for most of the day (if not all day) completing school assignments and work from their computers, additional strain is being put on their eyesight. Screens adversely affects both eyesight and a person’s ability to get to sleep. All of the modern screens emit blue light that alters how much melatonin a person’s body produces. Melatonin is an essential chemical in helping a person get to sleep faster. To help block the effect of blue light, innovators have made glasses that specifically block the light, neutralizing the effect. Adults are able to notice when their eyes are experiencing strain better, and they should also make sure to take a break periodically just to let the eyes rest, even if they have quality glasses that reduce blue light.
It is more challenging to manage children who are spending more time in front of screens than at any other period in history. Parents need to not only be aware of how close children are holding screens to their faces, but they need to monitor their kids for eye strain. Signs that a child is experiencing this problem include excessive blinking, rubbing their eyes, headaches, or are having trouble getting to sleep. Parent can implement breaks away from screens, making sure to include drinking water during those breaks.
Drinking more water can help reduce eye problems. Dr. Kearnes, an optometrist, recommended the 20-20-20 rule. Set a timer to go off every 20 minutes (you can use the repeat function on your phone so you don’t have to constantly reset the timer), then look away from all screens and look at something natural about 20 feet from you for at least 20 seconds. This forces your eyes to focus on something further away that is not emitting light into your eyes.
For a fuller look at the problem and solutions recommended by an optometrist, check out Virtual Learning and Working from Home, Tips for How You Can Save Your Eyesight. With World Sight Day having just passed, make sure to take good care of your vision.