DIGITAL DANGERS: Screens Posing Threat to Our Eyesight

News

For just about all of us, we stare at screens every day.

And our eyes are paying for it.

For our News 5 special report “Digital Dangers,” we spoke to the experts and researched the adverse health effects of staring at screens for hours everyday.

“I stare at screens for six to eight hours everyday,” said one seventh grader who spoke to News 5.

“I’m saying [my daughter] does for at least 18 hours,” admitted one parent.

Over at Premier Medical, eye surgeon Chris Walton says the screens themselves aren’t that dangerous — it’s what our eyes do when staring at them for hours that can be harmful, especially to children.

Walton says eye convergence is a problematic symptom of prolonged screen exposure. That’s when the eyes gradually turn inward, eventually causing nearsightedness.

“If they do it for prolonged periods of time, their eyes have a hard time coming back out to where they can see distance well,” said Dr. Walton.

In the coming decades, we could see an unprecedented number of teenagers requiring glasses due to all the screen time.

“It could increase nearsightedness by 20 to 30 percent, which is a huge jump in myopia.”

For adults, Walton says he’s seeing patients for reading glasses at younger ages every year, likely due to heavy screen exposure.

We could be on the verge of a generational shift where reading glasses will become far more common among adults in their thirties and forties.

“When somebody comes in in the 38 to 39 range and they have 20/20 vision and they go ‘oh I need readers all of a sudden’ [it’s] cause they can function and pull things out to see it, that’s early.”

Watch the video version of this story for tips!

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