Prolonged screen time from digital learning could lead to side effects

Prolonged screen time from digital learning could lead to side effects
Dr. Scott Paladichuk goes over an eye exam with his patient, Carwin. (Source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Schools are transitioning to online learning as COVID-19 presents a challenge to in-person classes.

As students head back to school, more kids will be using a device to learn this year than ever before.

“There’s concern that it could impact a child’s development or the way that they learn,” said Dr. Scott Paladichuk, a Hattiesburg optometrist.

Paladichuk knows there’s a big concern over blue light that’s emitted from devices when it comes to eyesight.

“The blue is not harmful. The blue light does not damage the front surface or the back surface of the eye,” said Paladichuk.

That doesn’t mean prolonged screen time comes without side effects.

“Some of the symptoms that children can experience can be headaches, eye fatigue, eye strain, even dryness, glare or haze from a computer screen,” said Paladichuk.

Paladichuk has a tip for allowing your eyes to rest called the “20 20 20 rule”.

“Say, 20 minutes of learning or 20 minutes of near use, you should take 20 seconds to view an object 20 feet away,” said Paladichuk.

Paladichuk said when your eye stares at a screen, it can begin to spasm.

“Viewing a distance object will allow the eyes to relax,” said Paladichuk.

He added that simply getting outside away from the screens can also help your eyes.

If your child is having any issues with their vision, here’s what you should do.

“I encourage you to bring your child to a qualified, an eye doctor, an eye specialist and get an exam,” said Paladichuk.

According to Paladichuk, those blue light glasses that you may have seen actually do help combat the symptoms of prolonged screen time.

Copyright 2020 WDAM. All rights reserved.