Exploring Eyeglass Frame Styles

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Researchers Find Smartphone Screen Time Associated With Dry Eye Syndrome In Children


If your child has been complaining about sore, gritty-feeling eyes, you might have assumed this is occurring due to one of the common vision problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. You plan to make an appointment with an eye doctor so your youngster can have a vision test and eye exam. Another possible problem that many parents are unaware of is dry eye syndrome. A child's eyes can become chronically dry and tired because of excessive time focusing on electronic screens. 

About Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome involves a chronic lack of tears in the eyes to provide lubrication. Either the eyes don't produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. The problem has generally been considered as an occasional effect of aging, a side effect of certain medications, a possible complication of long-term contact lens wearing, and a symptom of certain medical disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

More recently, attention is being directed to children who appear to have developed dry eye syndrome.

Pediatric Research

A study published in 2014 analyzed the difference between a group of children diagnosed with dry eye syndrome and a group with normal eye moisture. Use of smartphones was significantly more prevalent in the group of youngsters with dry eye problems. The amount of time per day that children spent with smartphones also was connected with an increased risk of the syndrome. 

When evaluated individually, use of computers and watching TV didn't contribute to an increased risk of this eye disorder. However, the combined time spent with all video screens, including phones, computers and TV sets, was a contributing factor. 

What This Can Mean for Your Kids

The research indicates that for some reason, smartphones seem to pose a bigger eyestrain risk for youngsters than other types of video displays do. Perhaps children have to position their eyes too close to the screen or they gaze too intensely at the screen without blinking or taking a break.

If you haven't yet allowed your child to begin using a smartphone, continuing to delay could be a good idea. When your child does have one of these phones, limiting his or her use of texting functions and website browsing may be beneficial. 

Talk to Your Child's Eye Doctor

Your child's ophthalmologist or optometrist can diagnose whether your youngster has developed dry eye syndrome and can provide treatments that may reduce the symptoms. A conservative approach with wetting solutions will probably be the starting point.

The eye doctor will likely be familiar with the increasing problems of children having eye comfort issues because of excessive electronic screen time. You'll receive expert recommendations about how much time your child should be allowed to use smartphone screens, especially when combined with other video usage. A strategic approach to the problem may help your child's eyes regain their normal moisture. 

To learn more, visit Blink Eyewear


5 March 2015