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.

Latest News & Promotions
Interactive Video Player
Interactive Video Player
Interactive Video Player