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Is Too Much Screen Time Harming Your Child's Vision?

Child on phone in bed

Due to the recent pandemic, many of our Campus Eye Center patients—both kids and adults—have experienced a considerable increase in screen time that is likely to continue.

With schools requiring more remote learning and many adults working from home, everyone has been spending much more time on their computers, iPads, and even mobile phone screens. This increase in so-called "near work activities" is perhaps most unnatural for children, who typically attend school in person for at least part of each day and are not always in front of a screen during those hours.

As a result, screen use increases have created a lot of worry among parents, which is not entirely unfounded.

Here's What We Know

According to a new study published in the AAO's journal, Ophthalmology relates that at least part of the recent worldwide increase in nearsightedness (myopia) has to do with near work activities—with staring at screens for extended periods being at the top of the list.

Many technology users experience digital eyestrain. And kids are no different from adults when it comes to this issue.

Our experienced Campus Eye Center eye doctors have recently seen an uptick in younger patients experiencing eyestrain and headaches from screen overuse. Kids can experience dry eye, headaches, and blurry vision, too. While symptoms are typically temporary, they may be frequent and persistent.

Signs of Digital Eye Strain in Children (and Adults)

  • Headaches
  • Disrupted Sleep
  • Sore, Burning, or Itchy Eyes
  • Blurred Vision
  • Watery or Dry Eyes
woman with tired eyes
chlid playing on phone in dark

What Can You Do?

Because we tend not to blink as often while using computers and other digital devices, it means all of us—kids and adults alike—need to take more frequent breaks from near work activities to avoid eyestrain. Ophthalmologists recommend taking a 20-second break from near-sighted work every 20 minutes, and kids may need help from adults to remember to take these breaks. We suggest parents set a timer for kids doing homework in front of the computer so that they get up and take a walk every 20 minutes!

Campus Eye Center Leads the Way in Children's Eye Care in Lancaster

At Campus Eye Center, our mission is to protect, preserve, and improve the vision of those we serve in Lancaster County—children and adults alike—by utilizing a patient-centered practice approach characterized by outstanding clinical, technical, surgical, and personal expertise and service.

We believe that our patients of all ages deserve the best resources and educational materials to help them or their caregivers make informed decisions about their eye health. Our caring and dedicated staff are ready to answer your questions, and our website offers videos and articles on many vision-related topics. Get in touch with us today!


Campus Eye Center is an exceptional eye center with experienced eye doctors, Ophthalmogists and Optometrists, in Lancaster, PA. We offer total vision care including contact lenses and revolutionary Lasik eye surgery at our eye and laser center.

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