Back-To-School Tips: Tips to protect little eyes from the computer screen Saint John NB

With September comes the resumption of school work, homework, research projects and classmate communication, so it's important to note that the avera ...

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Back-To-School Tips: Tips to protect little eyes from the computer screen

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(NC)-With September comes the resumption of school work, homework, research projects and classmate communication, so it's important to note that the average North American child now spends one to three hours per day with his or her eyes on a computer screen. As a result, many leading pediatric eye doctors believe that the startling increase of nearsightedness (myopia) in children worldwide is a direct consequence of avid computer use.

"In fact, children using computers before their visual systems are fully developed are at the very heart of the public health problem called 'computer vision syndrome'," says Bijan Minbashion, vice president of operations for Hakim Optical, a national leader in retail eye care. "A study at the University of California reports that 25% to 30% of computer-using children need corrective eyewear to work with the equipment comfortably and safely - and similar studies in Asia report that first-graders with myopia has increased from 12.1% to 20.4% since 1995. In the last three years, myopia is reported to have doubled to 34% in seven- to nine-year-olds."

To guard against early damage to your child's eyes, consider these Hakim Optical tips:

• Schedule a comprehensive eye exam as your child enters kindergarten, including near-point (computer and reading) and distance testing.

• Schedule an eye exam before school begins every year.

• The recommended distance for children between the monitor and the eye is 18-28 inches. Any closer risks eye strain.

• Be aware of behaviour that indicates problems such as eye redness, frequent rubbing of the eyes, unusual posture, or complaints of blurriness or eye fatigue.

Consumer Tip: In Ontario, where OHIP no longer covers eye exams for people age 20 to 64, Hakim Optical is offsetting this expense with a deduction of $50 from the cost of your new glasses.

-News Canada