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Optometrists seeing more children struggling with vision problems

They name online learning as one of the reasons
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 9:53 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Doctors at Vision Health Center said they are seeing more children with Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as “digital eye strain.”

Dr. Stephanie Sloan mentioned it can cause blurred vision, headaches, and dry eyes.

“When we look at a print piece of paper it is a fixed plane and when we look at a screen that screen is pixelated, so our eyes are constantly focusing ahead and behind and that is really, really taxing on our visual system,” Sloan said. “Kids are in their prime time of using their eyes to process information and to learn and if they are having a roadblock or a hurdle from looking at a screen then we have to start working through that so that they optimize those learning years.”

Sloan said people should follow the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes that you are on the screen take a 20-second break to look 20 feet away.

The American Optometric Association recommends adjusting lighting so there are no glares on the screen, adjust the seat so feet sit flat on the floor, and consider tinted glasses.

But perhaps the biggest advice Sloan gives is to get kids to the doctor even if they are still pretty young.

“Kids' eye muscles are so strong and they can actually mask a lot of underlying eye issues, so it is important to have that full eye exam to make sure that their vision and eye health is up to speed for school,” Sloan said.

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