Ophthalmologists see more preventable vision problems in children during pandemic

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Another health issue related to the COVID-19 pandemic that doctors are currently dealing with is children’s vision after months and months of too much screen time. This can lead to a condition called nearsightedness, which is nearsightedness.

Myopia – when you can see things clearly up close but not far away – can be treated with glasses and contacts, but it can easily be prevented by limiting a child’s screen time. Dr. Vicente Diaz, a Yale Medicine ophthalmologist, says reducing consumption while children are young can promote brain and eye development, which parents may not realize.

“The longer they are exposed to close work and activities, the more likely they are to be nearsighted,” says Dr. Diaz.

Dr. Diaz says that from toddlers up to age 8, children can really be affected by too much screen time.

“It can affect how the brain, this vision develops during this time,” he says.

He says there’s also a theory that too much screen time limits eye growth, which can have long-term consequences.

“Having high myopia in your lifetime can predispose you to other things such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, certain types of glaucoma,” says Dr. Diaz.

He says reducing screen time in young children can prevent the vision problem from developing, but once they’re older it’s not reversible in their brains.

“They would probably need another type of procedure, glasses, contact lenses or even surgery.”

He recommends taking breaks, moving the device away, and most importantly, setting those time limits.

“What we’re seeing across these other studies around the world is that the risk starts to become significant after about three hours of screen time per day.”