Taking care of your eyes during remote learning

Posted at 10:49 AM, Sep 07, 2020

Screen time has become a common concern during the pandemic, as many school districts turn to online learning. That has doctors telling parents to pay close attention to their children's eyes.

"Everybody, adults and kids, can develop computer eye strain. That's mostly because there's a decrease in the blink rate, incomplete eye closure with the blink rate," said Dr. Cate Jordan, a pediatric ophthalmologist with the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Dr. Jordan says eye drops or a warm compress can help children with eye irritation because of increased technology use. But most of all, make sure your eyes get some relief from a screen.

"In between classes, take a break. Look out a distance and take a couple hard blinks. I really recommend really taking a few hard blinks because it pumps the oil glands and really helps lubricate the eyes," said Dr. Jordan.

Stephen Reid is the co-founder of Hue Eyewear. Reid and his wife founded their blue light glasses company when they noticed their children suffered side effects from too much screen time.

"With the amount of time we're spending on our screens right now, especially during the pandemic, we need to make sure that we protect ourselves," said Reid.

Reid says the glasses protect children and adults from blue light that's emitted from computer, tablet, phone and even television screens.

"My children use the glasses. Ever since we started the company they've been using them and they tell me their eyes are less strained and I can feel it, too," said Reid.

Dr. Jordan says more studies need to be done on the effectiveness of blue light glasses. Our eyes naturally protect against harmful rays that could affect our eyesight, she adds.

"If you've already bought them and a child feels better and wants to use them, then absolutely there's no harm in wearing them. But there's no need to have every child wearing blue light glasses," said Dr. Jordan.

Dr. Jordan says too much blue light at the end of the day can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle, so she recommends children make an effort to avoid screens at least two hours before bed time.

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