Due to the current situation and for everyone’s safety, many schools have chosen to switch to virtual learning. Children can continue learning at the comfort of their home through digital devices, such as computers and tablets. However, this method results in prolonged screen time in children. Among the first things that parents think of when it comes to preventing digital eye strain in kids is wearing blue light glasses.
Find out if blue light glasses can really protect your children against digital eye strain from a local optometrist.
What Is Blue Light?
You can find blue light everywhere. This light has shorter wavelengths and has more energy than any light at the other end of the color spectrum. While the sun is the main source of blue light, it can also be generated from fluorescent lights, LED lights, televisions, computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Despite the common belief that blue eyes have detrimental effects on a child’s eyes, there is no evidence supporting this claim. Experts are still studying the long-term effects of blue light since screens have not been part of people’s daily routine long enough.
What Is Digital Eye Strain?
Also called computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain refers to a group problem related to one’s vision and eyes, caused by the extended use of digital devices like computers, tablets and cellphones. The more a person uses a digital screen, the more discomfort they experience. Most times, a person experiences digital eye strain symptoms when the visual demands of a task go beyond their visual ability to perform it. People who spend at least two continuous hours every day in front of a computer or any digital screen are more likely to develop the condition.
The most common symptoms related to digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome include headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Moreover, these symptoms are triggered by poor lighting and posture, glare on the screen, and uncorrected vision problems.
When you are in front of a digital screen, your eyes need to work harder. The high visual demands of looking at a digital screen can make someone more prone to developing vision-related symptoms. If your child has an uncorrected vision problem, it can make digital eye strain symptoms worse. You can keep track of your child’s vision and eye care needs by visiting an optometrist regularly.
Keep in mind that looking at a digital screen is significantly different than reading a printed paper. The letters on a computer screen are not as precise or as sharp as in print. On a screen, the contrast of the letters to the background is lower, and reflections and glare on the monitor make viewing more difficult.
Compared to other reading or writing tasks, the viewing distances and angles used for using digital devices are also different. The needed eye focusing and movements for digital screen use can put added strain on your child’s visual system. Any existing vision problems, even minor ones, can cause eye strain and discomfort. If your child is already wearing prescription glasses, it may not be made for computer use. Some people tend to tilt their heads at weird angles to be able to see the screen. Poor posture while using the computer can cause pain in the neck, shoulder, and back.
Do Blue Light Glass Work Against Digital Eye Strain?
An increased screen time, as well as excessive blue light exposure, can disrupt your child’s sleep-wake cycles or circadian rhythm. As a result, they may become cranky, sleepy while at school, and be put at risk of different health problems. Optometrists offer blue light lenses to keep the high-energy light from entering your child’s eyes through digital devices. To determine the correct eyewear for your kids, consult an eye doctor.
Blue light glasses block certain segments of light wavelengths. You’ll notice that the lenses of these glasses have a slight yellow tint to them. They can help reduce the likelihood of digital eye strain in kids and reduce their exposure to blue-violet rays by at least 80 percent. If you have younger children, consider limiting their screen time but if using computers is necessary for school, you can get blue light glasses for them.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Child From Digital Eye Strain?
Make Sure Your Space Is Well-Lit
Place your child’s computer in a spot where the screen will not create glare. You can use window treatments like curtains and drapes to get rid of glare or replace light bulbs in desk lamps with lower watt bulbs.
Use Anti-Glare Screens
If you can’t reduce glare from light sources, what you can do is use anti-glare screen filters. They minimize the amount of light that reflects your child’s computer screen.
Practice Good Posture
What kind of chair does your child use while they are attending an online class? Chairs must be padded properly and conform to the body. The height of their chair should be adjusted so that their feet lay flat on the floor. The arms of the chair should be able to support them while typing, and their wrists shouldn’t be resting on the keyboard while doing so.
Place Reading Materials at the Right Distance
Reading materials should be above the keyboard and below the computer screen. You can place a document holder beside the monitor as well. They should be in a position where your child does not need to move their head from the document to the screen.
Teach Your Kid that Taking Breaks Is Necessary
Giving your eyes a break plays a major role in preventing eye strain. Teach your children to rest their eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuously using the computer. Another thing they can do is to follow the 20-20-20 rule, where they should look 20 feet away from the screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Don’t Forget to Blink
Sometimes when you spend too much time using the computer, you forget to blink. Advise your child that they should blink frequently while using a computer. Blinking helps in keeping the front surface of the eyes moist.
Adjust Your Computer Display Settings
You can adjust the brightness of the screen’s display so that it is similar to the brightness of your child’s surroundings. To determine if the computer screen is too bright, look at a webpage with a white background. If it appears like a light source, it is too bright, but if it looks gray or dull, then it is too dark. It may also help to adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen, as well as the size of the text. Moreover, reducing the color temperature of your display may lower the amount of blue light produced by your screen, contributing to improved viewing comfort.
Get Regular Eye Exams
No matter what your age is, getting regular eye exams is extremely important. Untreated vision conditions can affect the learning process of children. Keep in mind that a child’s vision changes a lot, from the age of six to 18. When not corrected, vision problems can disrupt a child’s development, lead to permanent vision loss, and cause behavioral and attention issues.