Teenagers’ lives now revolve mostly around screens, which has both advantages and disadvantages. Although there are educational and social advantages to screens, it is important to make sure that teenagers limit their screen usage for the purpose of their physical, mental, and visual health. This article explores how too much screen time might harm a teen’s eyes, offers suggestions for limiting screen time, and addresses common questions concerning blue-light blocking eyewear.
How may screen time impact the eyes of my adolescent?
Teenagers’ excessive use of screens has been connected to a number of eye health problems. Long stretches of close-up gazing, which are frequently related to screen use, can cause myopia or nearsightedness to develop. Distance vision becomes hazy due to myopia, which can deteriorate over time and pose long-term dangers to eye health. Additionally, excessive usage of digital devices might cause dry eyes since reduced blinking when using a screen can result in insufficient tear production. Symptoms like hazy vision, painful eyes, redness, and discomfort may result from this.
How else may screen time impact a teen’s eye health?
Digital eye strain can result from screen time in addition to myopia and dry eyes. Headaches, blurred vision, and irritated or itchy eyes are all signs of digital eye strain. Teenagers are now more likely to experience these symptoms, especially given the rise in screen-based remote learning during the COVID-19 epidemic. Dry eye symptoms, unidentified vision issues, and glare sensitivity are a few examples of conditions that can affect digital eye strain. Additionally, extended close-up smartphone use has been linked to eye muscle issues like esotropia, which causes the eyes to tilt inward, as well as other disorders.
What is the ideal amount of screen time for my teenager?
Teenagers’ overall mental and physical health as well as the reduction of screen time are all essential factors. The American Academy of Paediatrics and the Australian Government Department of Health both advise restricting teenagers’ recreational screen use to no more than two hours per day, outside of school hours. However, it is crucial to have open discussions regarding screen time objectives and activities within the family. Teenagers and time-related goals have produced successful results in teamwork.
Should I get my teenager specialised blue-light glasses?
Some people may find that wearing glasses with blue-light-blocking coatings during extended screen use helps them feel less eye strain. When looking at screens that are backlit, they could be especially helpful. The usefulness of these coatings for those with regular sleep patterns is less obvious, even if some evidence suggests that they can enhance sleep quality for those who self-report having insomnia. Blue-light spectacles are not supposed to protect the retina, despite claims to the contrary. However, blue-light spectacles might be a good choice if your adolescent feels more at ease wearing them while using devices.
Three straightforward guidelines for teens’ screen time
It is beneficial to go through these three straightforward guidelines with your adolescent in order to promote visual health and lower the chance of myopia:
- The elbow rule states that whatever your teen is looking at up close, such as a screen or a book, should be at least elbow-to-wrist away from their eyes. This aids in avoiding extremely tight viewing distances that are linked to increased visual effort, the development of myopia, and issues with eye muscle coordination.
- The 20/20 rule states that every 20 minutes, your adolescent should take a break from reading or screen time for at least 20 seconds. They should take a moment to gaze around the room during these pauses to unwind their attention muscles before returning to their tasks. Myopia has been associated with extended durations of close-up vision without pauses.
- The two-hour rule states that screen usage for pleasure or amusement, excluding schoolwork, should be kept to no more than two hours each day. Encourage your adolescent to participate in additional activities that enhance their physical and mental health.
TikTok takes a stand with daily screen time limit
In response to growing global concerns over excessive screen time and its potential impact on mental health, TikTok has recently implemented a significant change by limiting users’ screen time to a maximum of 60 minutes per day. This move comes as part of the platform’s commitment to promoting a healthier digital lifestyle among teenagers and addressing the mounting apprehensions surrounding excessive social media usage. By setting a specific time limit, TikTok aims to encourage responsible and mindful engagement, fostering a more balanced relationship between young users and their online activities. This restriction not only acknowledges the need for moderation but also reflects a broader industry-wide effort to prioritise the well-being of teenagers in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.
How else can I control my screen time?
Here are some additional screen time management techniques in addition to the guidelines indicated above:
- Set screen timers: Talk to your adolescent about the value of putting timers on their gadgets to aid in setting limits. The settings of digital devices can be changed to lock particular apps after a set amount of time or at certain times of the day.
- Set an example: Set screen time restrictions for yourself to set a good example. According to research, parental screen time and that of their kids are strongly correlated. Establish family-widescreen-free zones and times, such as mealtimes and designated areas of the house.
Controlling screen usage is essential for teenagers’ physical, mental, and visual health. Myopia, dry eyes, and digital eye strain are just a few of the eye health issues that can result from too much screen time. Parents can assist teenagers in finding a balance between technology use and other activities by enforcing straightforward rules and having open discussions about screen time objectives. Additionally, it can be beneficial to think about blue-light blocking eyewear as a potential solution to lessen eye strain when using a screen. We may promote the general wellbeing of today’s youth by emphasising responsible screen use.