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Eye problems increase from too much screen time

Too much screen time related to eye problems

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Nearsightedness has doubled in the last 30 years and much of it is from too much screen time, but for many people computers and technology are a part of our work and daily life.

Doctor Lisa Porter, an optometrist in Idaho Falls suggests for every 20 minutes of screen time to get at least 20 seconds to relax your eye muscles and look away from screens. For children she suggests kids a 10 second break for every 10 minutes of screen time.

"Nowadays I'm seeing a lot more environmental stress. 60% of what children do is arm's length and closer. Whether it's at school, whether it's at home, whether it's technology, whether it's Nintendo-DS, iPad, Nook, tablet," said Porter.

All of that tech time is adding stress to the eyes.

"It's like going to the gym and holding a 50 pound weight all day. What happens if you hold that muscle all day? It's going to be tired it's going to be fatigued," said Porter.

She added eye muscles were never meant to be under stress all day long.

"Long term muscles strain can lead to stress and that stress is what's causing the elongation of the eye. All nearsightedness means is the eye is longer," said Porter.

Porter suggested sitting at least an arm length away from the computer screen. She also said for people who have jobs which require long hours on the computer to wear special glasses.

It's uncertain what the long term effects of technology are but doctors suggest doing all you can protect your eyes.

Hand-held devices should be held at least an elbow-length away from the eyes.

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