ODESSA, Texas (Big 2 / Fox 24) – As students turn to online learning, a lot of their time is now spent in front of a computer screen.
Dr.Justin Jackman with Vision Source in Odessa said with more technology available, children are more at risk of damaging their vision.
“50 years ago before all these computers and everything about 17% of the country was near sided, Dr. Jackman said. “Now it’s 43% and I actually think by 2030 or 2040, it will be 50% of kids will be near sided, so every other kid is going be near sided.”
But many kids are now going to school online, spending hours behind a computer screen. Dr. Jackman said children going near sided is not the only threat to their vision.
” The kids that are going really near sided, there is allot of disease that goes up quite a bit,” Dr. Jackman said. ” So you end up with higher rates of myopic macular degeneration, they’re more at risk for glaucoma, retinal detachments.”
To prevent serious damage to your children’s vision, Dr. Jackman recommends parents to limit the amount of time their kids spend actually looking into a screen.
“The biggest thing is the 20-20-20 rule, look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds preferably out of a window or something so they can let their eyes relax,” Dr, Jackman said. “There’s another thing called the Harmon distance so make sure your kids are not right on top of the screen.”
Dr. Jackman also recommends parents to adjust their children’s electronic devices with blue scree filters so they won’t damage their eyes. But the most important thing is to get an annual eye exam for your children to spot any problems
“There are things you can do to if we start seeing signs,” Dr, Jackman. “So that’s less iPad time, get outside, and for the kids that are near sided, there are things we can do to try to slow them down.”