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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 screen time?

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.

What is Blue Light?

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.


Why is Blue Light Harmful?

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.


How to Protect Your Eyes

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.

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