Back To School 2023: Eye Impairment And Learning
Back to school usually signals eye exams and eye care. Students must get off to a great start and correct eye vision is pivotal for learning. In the U.S. one in four children has a vision impairment that is significant enough to affect their ability to learn. Many believe that 80% of what a child learns through age 12 is through their vision. A child’s vision issues will affect every aspect of their life which includes learning, confidence, and social interaction to participation in activities such as sports, art, and music. Therefore, children should have a comprehensive eye exam before returning to school. The rule is that If your child has no vision impairment they should get their eyes examined at age 3 and age 5 or 6, before starting first grade.
Vision impairment is often referred to as an invisible problem because they do not when there is a problem. To them, blurry eyesight may seem normal. It is unlike hunger or tooth decay where it is obvious. Parents, family members, and teachers play a key role in identifying vision impairment issues and being an advocate for their vision care, and helping ensure they receive eye exams regularly and eyeglasses when needed.
During school years 2023- 2024, K-12, and colleges will offer -in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning classes. Regardless of the option that is used, there will be a computer or other forms of digital learning technologies. The excess use of video games, laptops, and virtual learning with computers, mobile devices, and tablets for schoolwork will result in a great deal of time spent in front of screens resulting in strain on the eyes. UCF reports that recent research demonstrates, on average, that students learning online retain 25% to 60% of the material, compared with only 8% to 10% in a classroom. Additionally, online learning allows students to learn at their own pace, requiring 40% to 60% less time to study than in a traditional classroom setting.
Eye Strain And Virtual Learning
The American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that spending hours in front of digital screens has led to the emergence of an eye condition known as digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome. Digital eye strain refers to a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of a digital device. The more time students spent online, the more likely they were to experience eye strain and convergence insufficiency, with 57 percent of students experiencing eye strain and 61 percent showing symptoms of convergence insufficiency. Of the students experiencing convergence insufficiency, 17 percent were considered severe cases
A new research report from ophthalmologists at Wills Eye Hospital confirms that excess screen time did lead to more eye strain in children. The study also suggests that there is convergence insufficiency, a troubling eye condition, resulting from eye strain making it difficult to read.
Digital eye strain, causing eye and vision-related problems, occurs when there is excess exposure to a computer screen or other digital devices. Symptoms include:
- Eye Discomfort
- Eye Fatigue
- Dry eye
- Blurry vision
- Uncorrected vision/hidden health problems may also contribute to eye strain
Avoiding/Reducing Eye Strain
The Mayo Clinic reports that treatment for eyestrain consists of adjusting to your daily habits or your environment. There may be underline conditions that require some individuals to have treatment. Also
Below are things that you can do to avoid and or reduce eye strain:
- Wear glasses for specific activities like computer use and or reading
- Take regular eye breaks to help refocus your eyes
- Close blinds and/or shades
- Avoid placing your monitor directly in front of a window or white wall
- Place an anti-glare cover over the screen
- Adjust your monitor to a position that reduces strain
- Always put the monitor directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level
The Mayo Clinic Suggests The Following Specific To Behavior And Lifestyle
- Adjust the lightning
- Take frequent breaks
- Limit time on a computer screen and digital devices
- Use artificial tears
- Improve your space air quality
- Choose the appropriate eyewear
Tips For Computers And Other Digital Devices (Mayo Clinic)
- Refresh your eyes by blinking often
- Take eye breaks, the 20-20-20 rule; look at something every 20 minutes, 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
- Reduce your glare by adjusting the lighting
- Adjust your monitor/adjust the position of your digital device
- Use a document holder
- Adjust the screen
Contact us immediately if you are experiencing any eye strain conditions. We are here for you to answer all your question about eye strain resulting from too much computer and digital devices exposure, and how to protect your children in the digital technology era.