Excessive Screen Use “Damaging Children’s Eyesight”

Posted on: September 16, 2019

The Association of Optometrists Ireland has issued a stark warning about the dangers of excessive screen time to children’s eyesight.

As the use of smartphones and tablets among young people has soared in recent years, devices are having a negative impact on their eyesight. It causes over-converging, it also means only 40% of what we read is being processed.

As well as damaging their eyesight, the blue light from modern device screens is also further impacting children’s health. Blue light has been proven to affect the pineal body which regulates body rhythm. That will knock out sleep pattern and behaviour patterns. Parents should only allow 20 minutes a session and encourage an activity outside.

Reading off a tablet causes eyestrain and headaches and effects children’s coordination. Having the books at home if the school forces them to have a sole iPad policy could help relieve some of the symptoms. However some children, particularly those who have learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, can find screens more calming than a book!!

Short-sightedness has long been associated with reading and other close range tasks. However the rise of electronic screen technology means today’s children are focusing their eyes at short distances for longer periods than any previous generation. Children using screens for more than three hours a day were almost four times more likely to be short-sighted than those spending less than one hour on screens daily. Parents should be encouraged to get their children books so the child can develop their visual tracking skills and doing activities like dot-to-dot and Where’s Wally.

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