In these extraordinary times we don’t know if our children will return to traditional brick and mortar schools, online classes or a combination of both. Regardless of that, we do know that poor vision in school age kids will result in unsuccessful learning.
Studies have consistently linked low school performance to poor vision and visual disorder issues. Up to 80% of the learning children do is visual, so having undiagnosed and untreated vision can have far reaching effects on their education, confidence and ability to socialize.
This frustrating situation leads kids to act out. The child may not even know how to explain what is wrong. It is a problem to be averted by a simple comprehensive eye exam prior to the start of the school year.
If children do go back to school online they face the additional stress of digital eye strain. We must remind parents, teachers and students of the dangers of blue light and the 20-20-20 rule.
The blue light exposure received from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure, because of the close proximity of the screen and the length of time spent looking at the screen. According to a recent NEI study, children’s eyes absorb more blue light than adults from device screens. Research also shows that too much blue light can lead to digital eyestrain and could cause premature aging of the eyes, including the retina damage seen with age-related macular degeneration.
Practice the 20-20-20 rule to reduce the effects of digital eye strain. The rule states:
- Take a 20 second break.
- Every 20 minutes.
- Look at something that is 20 feet away.