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Eye care helps with school

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Parents across the state are preparing for their children to head back to school. Certainly, parents of today’s kids are familiar with how often their children spend time using electronic devices at home. What’s both easy and understandable for them to overlook, however, is just how much time their children are using digital technology in the classroom. Children’s use of electronic devices essentially doubles when they go back to school, significantly increasing their chances of developing digital eyestrain.

Wisconsin Optometric Association members report more children complaining of burning, itchy or tired eyes this time of year resulting from prolonged electronic device use. Some children experience headaches, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision, or head and neck pain. All are symptoms of digital eyestrain.

The “20-20-20 rule” taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to view something 20 feet away, can help children protect their vision and eye health from digital eyestrain.

In addition, parents should know that school vision screenings miss too many children with visual diseases and disorders, which can only be diagnosed by a licensed eye doctor. Undiagnosed vision problems can impair learning and negatively impact a child’s quality of life. Children’s vision is a priority, and the Wisconsin Optometric Association recommends yearly back to school eye exams from a licensed eye doctor for all school-age children.

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