Amanda R. Zeller Manley, OD, FCOVD
2020 could be ruining your 20/20
Register to attend our webinar this Thursday, January 7th at 7:30 pm to learn how more screen time and less outdoor time may actually be harming children’s developing visual systems.
All this necessary virtual learning may be putting them at a higher risk of developing nearsightedness, eye strain, trouble focusing, and other binocular vision problems. While glasses or contact lenses can correct a child’s sight, they don't address the myriad of other vision and learning problems that may be plaguing your child. Quarantines, while necessary, have lead to social isolation, increases in anxiety, trouble sleeping, fighting with parents, and a rise in sedentary lifestyles. School used to be one way for parents to ensure your children were not just learning, but socializing, getting much needed exercise, and spending a big part of their day away from devices. Although we have found new ways to learn, socialize, and even exercise, all of it has exponentially increased the time we spend in front of screens. According to a 2018 NIH study, children that spent more than 2 hours of (non-academic) screen time scored lower on language and thinking tests. Children with more than 7 hours experienced thinning of the brain's cortex related to critical thinking and reasoning. Also, high-energy blue light emitted from screens can interfere with our sleep-wake cycle, and may even cause retinal damage speeding up age-related vision problems that can lead to loss of sight.