Is increased screen time from virtual learning impacting kids’ eyes?

Health

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virtual learning in 2020 has become something that students of all ages have had to adjust to because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Technology allows us the ability to learn in front of a screen, but have you ever thought about what the increased time staring at a computer could be doing to students’ eyes?

“The biggest thing is our world’s are changing – everything’s getting closer,” said Dr. Kurt Jung of Colonial River Eye Care. “Add virtual learning to the mix and now our eyes work differently. So kids that would have never had issues in the past, all of a sudden now you increase their visual demand.”

This is why Dr. Jung says it’s very important to get your eyes checked. So does Andrea Booker, optician at the non-profit organization Conexus.

“It’s vital that the kids have proper prescription,” said Booker.

Conexus’ goal is to protect education through healthy vision, visiting schools to provides eye exams.

“Our job is to screen the kids, see who’s in dire need of eye vision and then come back to the kids and service them with a free eye exam and free glasses,” said Booker.

Conexus recently launched the Blink 20 program to help fight vision problems and digital eye strain due to increased screen time.

They recommend students sit 20-25 inches away from screens and also take time during the day to rest eyes away from the computer.

Booker has two children in Chesterfield County Schools who are currently in virtual learning, experiencing the challenges first hand.

“One kid has glasses now, the other kid does not,” added Booker. “By the time December, both of my kids will be needing glasses.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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