As students distance learn, eye doctors see increase in eye strain

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As students continue distance learning, eye doctors say all that screen time is taking a toll.

It was just weeks into the school year when the Nodal's family started recognizing a problem.

"We started noticing eye strain immediately," said parent Andrea Nodal. "By September, we were already having headache problems with two of the three children."

"My eyes were just in pain, and they were kind of dry, too," said sophomore Nathaniel Nodal.

From headaches to dry eyes, Andrea said all three of her students were dealing with eye strain.

"We got very concerned very fast," said Andrea. "To remedy this issue, we researched solutions immediately and found the blue block glasses."

Doctors say this is all too common.

"There's been an uptick in parents bringing their children in who are having complaints in what we call digital eye fatigue," said Eye-Q Vision Care Optometrist Michael Mendoza. "They're in front of that screen more than two to three hours a day, and that puts a strain on their eye muscles."

There are some ways you can find relief.

"First thing we recommend is making sure kids are taking breaks," said Mendoza. "Walk around, get your eyes away from the screen, and that really helps."

Dr. Mendoza also recommends the 20-20-20 rule.

"That's every 20 minutes you take a short 20-second break and look 20 feet away," said Mendoza. "That allows eye muscles to go back to resting state and not fatigue so quickly."

They also recommend making sure that the computer screen is an arms length away and downgaze. Some parents, including Andrea, also finding luck with blue block glasses.

"So far, we've had very few headache-related issues for the girls," said Andrea Nolan about the experience with blue block glasses. "One of my girls hardly ever has a headache."
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