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What to Do About Screen Time and Myopia

According to some experts, excessive screen time on devices like tablets, smartphones, and computers can increase the risk of nearsightedness, or myopia, in children. While not ideal, there are several ways to counteract this physiological change in the eye.

For nearsightedness, there are a few things that can be done. The most obvious is corrective lenses. However, the downfall of this remedy is that it doesn’t help stop the progression of myopia, and the wearer will need to continue getting updated prescriptions.

Another solution is called orthokeratology, or Ortho-k. This therapy has the capability to temporarily eliminate the need for glasses, and every night, the wearer puts in special hard contact lenses that help to reshape the eyeball overnight. Think retainers, but for your eyes. Other specialists prefer using atropine drops, eye drops which can help slow the progression of myopia without risking infection like Ortho-k lenses may.

Lifestyle & Nutrition

As with many other health issues, lifestyle can play an important role in the development and progression of nearsightedness. Simply getting outside for a walk every few hours can help your eyes reset and ward off any need for glasses. Additionally, this falls in line with a healthy lifestyle many healthcare professionals recommend to their patients.

Along with daily activities, a healthy diet is also a common recommendation that can help your eyes. One antioxidant called zeaxanthin (zee-uh-zan-thin) has been clinically demonstrated to improve visual acuity or sharpness by 1½ lines on an eye chart! Other nutrients recommended by the Myopia Institute include:

Learn about an eye vitamin designed with these ingredients for children ages 4-17.

While there are a few ways to help correct nearsightedness, the best defense is a good offense. Getting ahead of the issues and correcting the high-risk behaviors that can lead to myopia and/or adding behaviors that can positively impact eye health is the best way to support healthy, long-term vision. Schedule your child’s next eye exam now to ensure they are getting the visual support they need to succeed!