Digital eyestrain does not just affect adults. Children are also at risk for eyestrain due to the growing use of digital devices. Children today have more digital gear at their disposal than ever before – tablets, smart phones; videogames are just among a few. By some accounts, children and teenagers (ages 8-18) spend more than seven (7) hours a day consuming electronic media.
Before age ten (10), children’s eyes are not fully developed. In an undeveloped eye, the crystalline lens and cornea are still largely transparent and overexposed to light. Too much exposure to blue light is particularly dangerous in kids for this reason, and parents have been advised to supervise and limit the amount of screen time exposure by kids.
Night time exposure to blue light – mainly from computers, smart phones and tablets— is particularly harmful. While blue light normally triggers the creation of melatonin — an important and useful hormone that tells the body when it should sleep –over exposure to blue light, especially at the wrong times, can cause insomnia and sleep cycle disruption. Anyone with a child knows when they don’t get enough sleep, they are very crabby.
Almost 70 percent of kids have some type of technology in their bedroom and the presence of these things has significant consequences in them getting sleep, which ultimately leads to them having trouble in school, functioning well in sports and gaining weight screen on the device. Doctors are warning parents about something their kids are increasingly exposed to and it may be playing a key role in disrupting their sleep. Parents should limit the exposure of kids on blue light by limiting the use of digital devices, or using special filters and special ophthalmic lenses to reduce the harmful radiation.