I’m embarrassed to share this little anecdote as the title of this week’s blog is “KIDS! GET OFF YOUR TABLETS…”, but just the other day, as I was scrolling Facebook, I read a status update that stopped me in my tracks. It read like this: “I just drove by two bus stops and 8 kids were on their phones and not talking to each other. The bus stop used to be so much fun 🙁 ”
As a whole, our society and culture is completely addicted to devices!
“Social networking already accounts for 28 percent of all media time spent online, and users aged between 15 and 19 spend at least 3 hours per day on average using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 18 percent of social media users can’t go a few hours without checking Facebook, and 28 percent of iPhone users check their Twitter feed before getting up in the morning” (https://www.adweek.com/digital/social-media-addiction-stats/).
So what could this possibly be doing to our eyes?…do you sense some sarcasm in that question?
Staring at your computer screen, smartphone or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage, but your eyes may feel dry and tired. You may develop blurry vision, fatigue or eye strain. Some people also experience headaches or motion sickness when viewing 3-D, which may indicate that the viewer has a problem with focusing or depth perception.
Normally, humans blink about 15 times a minute, but studies show we blink half to a third that often while using computers and other digital screen devices, whether for work or play. Extended reading, writing or other intensive “near work” can also cause eye strain (https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/computer-usage).
See below for some tips to help with eye strain:
- Sit about 25 inches, or an arm’s length, from your computer screen. Position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
- Many devices now have glass screens with considerable glare. Reduce glare by using a matte screen filter if needed.
- Take regular breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
- Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry. Consider using a humidifier.
- If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
Now, with this little bit of knowledge, are you cringing? Are you ready to put a time limit on the tablet or other device that your child uses so often? Are you ready to limit your OWN screen time? Wouldn’t you love to see your child involved in something to benefit their eyes this summer? And how about THIS for a double whammy…is your child involved in sports? So, if you DO NOT have your child signed up for a camp yet, or something fun and educational, we’re here to help. At Semenza Behavioral Optometry, we are offering a program called: Improve your Game! Sports Vision Camp.
Did you know that almost 80 percent of perceptual input in sports is visual? An athlete may have 20/20 vision, but this only means s/he can see an object clearly; it doesn’t mean s/he can tell where the object is in space, how fast it’s traveling, or whether it’s changing direction.
With sports vision therapy you can train your eye muscles to work better for you and enhance your performance—just as you would train your biceps. New methods focus solely on the eye muscles and retrain the way the brain processes visual imagery (https://www.eyehealthweb.com/sports-vision-therapy/).
See our ad on the E-List next week!:
Take 60% off of Sports Vision Camp. This program is geared to improve your child’s game. This camp is open to ALL Children ages 8-12. Before heading back to school this fall, receive a vision screening and two sessions per week for four weeks to enhance your child’s vision both on and off the field, court, or ring. Begins Tuesday, July 10th & Wednesday, July 11th from 2-3pm; recurring Tuesdays and Wednesdays through August 1st. The original cost is $1,200 and with this Deal, it will be reduced down to $480.
Give us a call with any questions, and please pass this information on to whomever you know that might benefit.
Meredith, Vision Therapist