TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Back to the rulers, back to the books, back to the "dirty looks" students get from too much computer time at the start of the new school year. Eye care centers are flooded at the beginning of each school year with parents whose children complain about headaches, tired eyes and blurry vision.
Eye doctors say most of those students don't need glasses, they just need to give their eyes a break from screen time. Dr. Carlos Diaz with Southwestern Eye Center says "..the recommendation is to take short breaks, maybe every 30 minutes or so. Just take 10 seconds looking at a picture at a distance, or a clock, or an image and letting the eyes focus at a distance then going back." That gives the muscles that control the eyes the opportunity to relax back into a normal position.
Doctors also recommend positioning your computer screens four to five inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from your eyes. They say digital devices, like smart phones and pads should be held slightly below eye level to help avoid eye strain. Eye experts say you should blink frequently to minimize the chances of developing dry eye.
Dr. Diaz also recommends that children as young as 3 have their eyes checked by a doctor, but he says definitely do it before the age of 6, when problems can be harder to manage.