Increased screen time during pandemic leading to vision problems, doctors say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local eye doctors figure we've increased our screen time at home in the past year by over three hours a day.

Eye-Q Ophthalmologist Dr. Frank Bishop says we're not blinking enough.

"Our blink rate goes from out 16 a minute to about 7 or 8 times a minute," he said. "As we stare, our tears evaporate. What that does is causes symptoms of burning."

Dry eye issues play a big part in the computer vision syndrome cases he has been seeing. They lead to neck and shoulder strain.

Dr. Bishop says you can help yourself by adopting the 20-20-20 rules.

"Every 20 minutes, stare 20 feet away or more for 20 seconds," he said. "That gives your eyes an opportunity to re-set and allows your eyes to become rehydrated."

You could also buy artificial tears if that helps.

Dr. Bishop says you need to also play close attention to your kids because they're constantly on Zoom.

"They didn't have these dry eye problems at home," he said. "They're staring at their computer screen. They don't get recess. They don't get to go outside and play and therefore, they're having more of these symptoms."

If you get the chance, Dr Bishop says it's always good to step outside to give your eyes a break.
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