Children and video games

When we were younger computer games were an absolute luxury that you could only play on rainy days and if no one else was using the one television you had in the house. Now, having multiple TV’s and handheld screens is the norm.

Hearing your parents say “Don’t watch the TV too long, your eyes will turn square” sounds a bit far-fetched and your eyes definitely will not turn square shaped but we are beginning to notice the effect on long usage of screen time in young people especially.

When you are playing video games for instance the intense concentration needed for these types of games causes your eyes to blink less frequently. Due to this the eye then becomes dry as the natural lubrication in the movement of the blink is not being applied.

Dry eyes then, in turn, cause temporary stinging and aching and blurriness in the vision. Also the increased concentration can cause headaches from the straining.

Focusing for long periods is hard work on the tiny muscles in the eye. Phones tend to be held closer than your reading materials i.e. books or magazines and are therefore drawing the eyeballs in closer together straining the flexing muscles.

Even I have felt like needing to rub my eyeballs when I have spent too much time scrolling through social media on occasions.

The glare from the screens are also an unnatural light. Having too much exposure from the blue lighting from smart technology has been clinically proven to reduce your hours of sleep as your brain doesn’t switch off and with this all your other senses cant switch off either.

So we have some tips for you to help your little ones.

As silly as it sounds increasing the number of house plants you have in your home is a good start as they provide extra oxygen and create natural moisture in the home. You can also add a humidifier into the house.

Lubricating eye drops can be administered if your child is complaining of dry or scratchy eyes. It is always good to talk to your opticians before so we can suggest which type or brand would be most suitable.

Make sure that a use of computer or screens is in moderation. We understand how hard it is to tell your teenager to put their phone down, at least compromise with putting the brightness levels to the lowest they can go.

Encourage them to take regular breaks when playing on the computer and to consciously blink throughout the game.

Get them outside. Time spent outdoors lowers the risk of developing myopia (short sightedness) also- the world is beautiful.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us to discuss.

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