Doctor offers tips to help kids battle eye strain

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Since the early 1970s there has been a doubling in the rate of nearsightedness across the country.

Between watching TV, spending time on cellphones and using laptops for school, kids are spending a lot of time on screens these days and research has shown that can cause issues for their eyes. 

Dr. Allison Babiuch is a pediatric ophthalmologist for Cleveland Clinic.

She says kids who spend a lot of time on screens may also experience “digital eye strain” – which can cause headaches, a dry eye feeling and blurry vision.

Ideally, she says the best way to treat that is by cutting down on screen time. However, if that’s not possible, she recommends using the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of screen time, you give your eyes a 20 second break and try to look 20 feet away.

“Even just resting your eyes by closing them for even a few seconds can help. Some people do use artificial tears – eye drops – to help re-lubricate their eyes. Usually you don’t have to do that if you can take enough breaks and limit the screen time,” said Babiuch.

If your child’s vision problems persist, you should talk to an eye doctor.