Are TVs, video games, cell phones, and tablets hurting my vision?
Pediatric Optometrist in Houston
Children can be glued to playing video games for hours on end. You can yell all you want and even threaten they might miss dinner- but the truth is, your child is so addicted to their games that they simply will not budge. Modern technology is making this behavior widespread and no longer regulated to just your home. Nowadays tablets, cell phones, and portable laptops are everywhere and people of all ages are simply addicted to them. A question we hear often at our office is, “are video games and computers ruining my children’s vision? If my child is intensely staring at a near object for hours on end will this cause their eyes to grow more and more nearsighted?”
It’s a common concern and on the surface makes logical sense. The jury is still out in the scientific community whether nearpoint stress can indeed contribute to myopia progression. Clinically, many eye doctors will tell you to have your children reduce screen time as much as possible. What IS known is that lack of outdoor playing time has a strong correlation to myopia progression. Researchers have found that children who spend a couple of hours outdoors are up to four times less likely to become myopic.
Our message to parents regarding visual environment is in part scientifically driven and in part just good common sense. Outdoor activity and exercise are fantastic for visual development versus sedentary indoor activities. This reduces risk factors for myopia as well as improves eye hand coordination, spatial depth perception, and eye pursuit skills. While it is inevitable that many children will gravitate towards tablets and computers, efforts should be made to reduce screen time when possible.
Pediatric Optometrist in Houston.
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