Increase in Vision Problems Among Children Due To Increased Screen Time – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Hot holiday gifts for children often include technology, from phones to tablets to video game systems. Kids have spent much more time on screens during the pandemic and it’s leading to eye problems.
All three of Ann Eng’s boys are having issues with their eyesight.
“They are looking out of the corner of their eye, squinting, or when they go pick up something they have to get really close to either the screen or the phone, it’s always in their face,” she said.
Her oldest, 8th grader Xaiden, went to the eye doctor for an issue that’s only gotten worse in school.
“They write big, but to me it seems small because I can’t see,” he said.
Xaiden has myopia or nearsightedness. It’s a diagnosis Optometrist Dr. James Dello Russo is seeing more often, especially in children.
“A lot more usage of devices, not only for their academics but also for leisure and social connection. And absolutely seeing an exponential increase in people’s strength of their prescriptions,” he said.
A study from China published in JAMA Ophthalmology looked at more than 120,000 children ages six to eight and found cases of nearsightedness increased up to three times during the pandemic.
Dr. Dello Russo tells parents, “I think knowledge is power and early diagnosis is key.”
Doctors say something as simple as spending a little more time outside can help slow the progression of nearsightedness.” Dr. Dello Russo recommends following the “20/20 rule.”
“After 20 minutes of screen time, they want to look at an object 20 feet away for about 20 seconds to let their eye sort of reset that accommodation and relax,” he said.
All tips Xaiden and his mom hope will help him see better now, and into the future.
Eye doctors recommended having children screened for vision problems between the ages of six and eight years old.