As students learn remotely, ophthalmologists see increased eye strain

ByMartha R. Camara

Nov 5, 2020
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — As students continue their remote learning, ophthalmologists say all that screen time takes a toll.

Just weeks into the school year, the Nodal family began to recognize a problem.

“We immediately noticed eye strain,” said parent Andrea Nodal. “In September we already had headache problems with two of the three children.”

“My eyes just hurt, and they were kind of dry too,” sophomore Nathaniel Nodal said.

From headaches to dry eyes, Andrea said her three students suffered from eye strain.

“We got worried very quickly,” Andrea said. “To remedy this problem, we immediately researched solutions and found the blue glasses.”

Doctors say it’s all too common.

“There has been an increase in the number of parents bringing in their children complaining of what we call digital eye strain,” said Eye-Q Vision Care Optometrist Michael Mendoza. “They’re in front of that screen for more than two to three hours a day, and it puts a strain on their eye muscles.”

There are several ways to find relief.

“The first thing we recommend is to make sure kids take breaks,” Mendoza said. “Walk around, take your eyes away from the screen, and it really helps.”

Dr. Mendoza also recommends the 20-20-20 rule.

“It’s every 20 minutes you take a short 20-second pause and look 20 feet away,” Mendoza said. “This allows the eye muscles to return to a resting state and not tire as quickly.”

They also recommend making sure the computer screen is at arm’s length and down. Some parents, including Andrea, have also found luck with blue glasses.

“So far we’ve had very few problems with the girls’ headaches,” Andrea Nolan said of the experience with the blue glasses. “One of my daughters almost never has a headache.”

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