Headaches and blurred vision could be a sign of too much screen time

Is staring at a screen all day causing eye strain?
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 1:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2020 at 1:09 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - We work from home, learn from home and most of that is done through a screen. Add that to the hours of time we already spend on our phones and devices and it could lead to some strain for your eyes.

“We have seen more complaints of children with eye strain with an increased use of computers," said Dr. Allyson Schmitt, an ophthalmologist at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Blurred vision and headaches are some of the most common symptoms of eye strain.

“The good news is while it can create these symptoms the eyes aren’t being harmed by the blue light from the screen," said Dr. Schmitt, "So, parents don’t need to be concerned with getting them special glasses.”

But those symptoms can affect learning. Dr. Schmitt said there are things you can do including taking frequent breaks and providing a proper workspace.

“I recommend they set up their computers about 18-24 inches away. When setting up the screen, it’s ideal for the top of the screen to be at eye level so they’re looking down.”

She said to use the Rule of twenties, “every 20 min you should take a break and look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds before you reset and that’ll help reduce symptoms.”

Get your children outside as much as possible. She said to use the nighttime functions on your device if you or your child need to be on a screen near bedtime.

If the headaches are severe it’s a good idea to check with your doctor.

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