We are all guilty of spending too much time staring at screens. Computer screens, cell phone screens, TV screens – each one is damaging to a writer mom and her children’s eyes.
Commonsense.org states that children between the ages of 8-18 spend 7.5 hours daily with media and technology. As parents we can control screen time up to a certain age and then it becomes more difficult.
Not only are children spending too much time in front of the screen, but so are parents!
Writer moms, who use technology all day long, can add that to the 7.5 hours plus any time spent at home on technology or watching TV. Our generation are destroying their eyes without even realizing it. We need to stop this for our own families before it’s too late.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Have you heard of Computer Vision Syndrome before? The American Optometric Association (AOA) states that this is also known as Digital Eye Strain and the symptoms are:
- Neck, shoulder, and/or back pain
- Eye Strain
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
The AOA states symptoms are caused by:
- poor lighting
- glare on a digital screen
- improper viewing distances
- poor seating posture
- uncorrected vision problems
Many of the symptoms are just temporary and can decline after stopping computer work or digital use.
However, as writer moms, we know this is nearly impossible.
How can we help protect our eyesight without having to stop using technology? Because of the plethora of technology options for kids and adults, it is imperative to use multiple ways to help protect not only your eyesight but your children’s too.
How to protect eyesight
Here are a few eye care tips that can help protect our eyesight:
1. Eat Well.
Feeding both yourself and your child healthy foods can help eyesight. Foods such as salmon, tuna and green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and collards can help ward off age-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
2. Wear Sunglasses.
Wearing sunglasses may seen so menial but really it helps prevent eyes from the sun's UV rays. When in the sun, it’s important to get your children to start wearing sunglasses to prevent their eyes from being damaged by the sun. If you are already wearing contacts, some UV protection is offered already, but it would be a good addition to add in the sunglasses.
3. Visit your eye doctor regularly.
By scheduling appointments regularly for you and your child to visit the eye doctor, it will catch anything that might happen to be wrong with your eyes sooner than later. Eye exams can help diagnose glaucoma, which is an eye disease that has no symptoms. Treatment can be provided right away to avoid any more damage to the eyes.
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4. Look away from the screen.
With our generation these days, everyone is using a screen. It is not only a computer screen but a tablet or cell phone screen. Staring at a screen too long can cause blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches, and neck, back and shoulder pain. Ways to prevent any damage when using any type of electronic screen is to make sure your glasses prescription is up to date. Use a comfortable chair or desk to sit in when using the screen.
For children if they are complaining of their eyes hurting, have them turn off the screen for a few hours and take a break from it. Resting your eyes every 20 minutes by looking away from the screen can help too. Every two hours if still looking at a screen, getting up for a 15-minute break is a great way to help protect the eyes.
And Keep Writing.
Doing all these tips: looking away from the screen, visiting your doctor, eating healthy, and wearing sunglasses, will keep you and your children's eyes healthy.
And keep you writing away, Mama.
Doing all these tips: looking away from the screen, visiting your doctor, eating healthy, and wearing sunglasses, will keep you and your children's eyes healthy.---#writermom
Jennifer is the owner of Teach.Workout.Love, a Motherhood Community for Busy Moms and Military Spouses. Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a toddler mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach and everything fitness. Her blog is Teach.Workout.Love and Instagram