With tablets, televisions, and laptops usage on the rise, many parents are always asking us how much time is too much time when it comes to children looking or watching a screen. The reality is too much “screen time” isn’t good for either a child or adults.
On average, the American adult will spend around 10 hours per day looking at a screen. Not only does this cause eye strain but can cause short-term vision damage resulting from long exposure to blue light, the harmful part of the light spectrum that causes damage to retinas.
Too much screen time can cause what has become known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”, or CVS. This happens when a child or adult looks at a digital screen for too long. Symptoms include double vision, eye strain, blurred vision, and eye pain, among others. Research shows that as much as 50-90% of adults who work in front of a computer show at least one symptom of CVS.
How much is too much?
While we can’t make the decision for parents or adults, studies have shown that limiting screen time as much as possible can be good for your eyes as well as prevent CVS. The American Academy of Pediatrics states in an article that came out late last year, when a child is between 0-18 months, there should be no screen time. Over 18 months, screen time should be an hour or less.
For adults, limiting screen time can also be beneficial. While there isn’t necessarily any guidelines for adults like for children, it is recommended that they practice the “20-20-20” rule to prevent eye strain and vision impairment. It is suggested that every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look up for 20 second at something 20 feet away.
Looking at a screen before bedtime can be detrimental to sleep as well. The blue light emitted stimulates the brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. At least one hour before bedtime, turn all of the screens off while you get ready for bed. Can’t stand the silence? We suggest turning on some soothing music for background noise instead of watching television.
What Can Be Done?
Follow these tips to ensure you are practices safe screen usage and taking care of your eye health:
Don’t let children sleep with tablets, smartphones, computers, or tvs in their bedroom.
Have “screen-free” family time. Play a board game or go on a walk instead.
Be active supporters of physical activity and at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
Take consistent breaks from staring at a screen if you work in front of a computer.
Place limits on screen times for your entire household, not just the children.
As screens become more and more a part of everyday life, it is important to make sure your eyes stay healthy. If you have any questions or comments about screen time and usage, please feel free to give a call or send us a message.
According to an article published this past summer, Americans spend more than 10 hours per day in front of some sort of screen. Whether it is a phone, television, or computer, the truth is that 10 hours every single day of blue light exposure can be harmful to your eyes.
Light travels in waves of electromagnetic particles which are measured by the length of each wave. The measurement used to measure a wavelength is called a nanometer, which is 1 1 billionth of a meter. Without delving into too much detail, the idea is the shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy. Each wavelength is described as a color such as green, yellow, red, and blue among others. Together these different colors make up the an electromagnetic spectrum. Blue light is part of the spectrum that is visible the human eye, or known on the spectrum as visible light. The wavelength for blue light is short, which means higher energy. Humans get most of their blue light exposure from digital electronics such as cellphones, computers, and television.
Because of the shorter wavelength, blue light contains higher energy. Studies suggest that with the amount of blue light exposure humans are experiencing, all of the energy can be harmful to the health of eyes and vision. The LED backlight technology used in digital electronics emits a very strong blue light, so it is pretty simple how long term use can mean negative impacts to vision health. Exposure to this blue light can also be one of the primary causes of digital eye strain and fatigue because of the amount of time spent staring at the screen.
Protecting your eyes from blue light exposure is vital to maintain good vision and eye health. While there are many temporary fixes like blinking more often and looking away from the screens every so often, there are also more beneficial ways to protect your eyes. At The Meadows Family Eye Care, we happy to offer a full line of bluelight blocking eye lens. Instead of allowing the wavelength to hit the eye, these lens reflect the wavelength away from the eye. These lens also provide a strain free experience when using a screen in low light scenarios.
Come see us today and ask about our blue light blocking lens. We can't wait to fit you into the perfect pair!
For more information on blue light exposure, click here.
Chemical Burns. Eye Globe Rupture. Thermal Burns. Cornieal Abrasions. Retinal Detachment.
The injuries listed above are common injuries seen around holidays that promote and have firework displays. With 4th of July coming up next week, it is vital to make your eyesight a priority when it comes to shooting fireworks. Every year, thousands of people suffer from permanent vision damage from accidents associated with fireworks. According to the 2014 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, firework injuries in the United States sent over 10,000 people to the emergency room and over 1,000 of those injuries were eye related injuries. The number of eye injuries doubled from 600 in 2012.
While many people believe that only those lighting the fireworks are at risk for firework injuries, research has shown otherwise. According to this study, nearly half of those injured by fireworks were bystanders. Around 35% of those injuries occurred to kids aged 15 years old and younger.
Many in the eye health and vision industry as well as the American Academy of Ophthalmology support going to firework shows this year and letting the professionals handle the fireworks.“Playing with consumer fireworks around these holidays have become such a beloved tradition that it is easy to forget the dangers they can pose, particularly to the eyes,” Philip R. Rizzuto, an ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for AAO, said in a press release. “We hope people will take the safest route to celebrating their independence by leaving fireworks to the professionals this year.”
If you do have a firework related eye injury, call 911 immediately and do not rub your eyes. If there are any objects in the injured eye, do not try to take it out because that may cause more damage.
Everyone here at The Family Meadows Eye Care wishes you and your family a happy and safe 4th of July! We will be closed to spend time with our family.
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The most commonly disliked test during an eye examination is the “Air Puff” test. Trust us - Dr. Reid couldn't agree more!
That’s why The Meadows Family Eye Care is investing in the iCare Tonometer. The newest way in taking eye pressure measurements without the use of numbing drops or puffs of air.
The iCare tonometer uses a very light probe to make very quick contact with the cornea. So quick it does not even trigger a corneal reflex, which means you can’t feel it. Most people say that it feels like tickling on their eyelashes.
The iCare tonometer is still just a screening method; so if further evaluation is needed drops may need to be instilled to take pressures through goldman tonometry which is the standard of care method of measuring pressures.
We are now offering a Summer savings program:) We will be offering 40% off a second pair RX sunglasses!!! Or if you choose, 30% off plano Sunglasses with the purchase of 1 year supply of contact lenses!!!
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We were voted the BEST optical in Castle Rock by the Douglas County Living!!! Thank you everyone for the support!!!http://www.douglascountyliving.com/pics/2013winners.jpg
We just receieved a new Oakley Frame shipment:) Come check them out... we are sure to have the frame just for you!!!
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This will save time and energy! Please fill out the night before your exam and we can start the exam as soon as you get here:)
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3750 Dacoro LaneSuite #140Castle Rock, CO 80109Phone: (303) 660-6005
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