Health experts warn excess screen time could lead to eye problem - FOX34 Lubbock

Health experts warn excess screen time could lead to eye problems in kids

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LUBBOCK, Texas -


Right now, kids are spending more time on phones, tablets and computers. That screen time could increase with more parents opting for virtual learning, and health experts warn it could harm their vision.

Even before the pandemic, doctors warned of a global trend of increasing nearsightedness in children.  

Dr. Lingkun Kong, a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Texas Tech health Sciences Center, said many factors could play into this, including the increased screen time.

 "These days with technology, everybody is on their iPhones, iPads, and that will likely contribute to nearsightedness as well," Dr. Kong said.

Headaches, eye pain and frequent blinking and blurry vision can all be signs of eye strain or other ailments.

"In children, blurry vision can be difficult, especially for those young children," she said. "Probably, they are not able to tell their parents their vision becomes blurry...their homework can start to have a lot of mistakes. When they read, the lines start to jump from top to bottom, so that will be the signs the parents can notice."

Although some screen time is unavoidable, such as school or doing homework, she recommends a 10-minute break every 30 to 45 minutes. She suggests looking at things in a distance, or going outside for a walk.

"Studies have shown that outdoor activity will decrease the chance of children needing glasses or becoming nearsighted. Exercise is really, really helpful," Dr. Kong said.

She added to make sure kids are eating balanced, healthy meals. If your child's eye strain symptoms persist, see a doctor.

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