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Effect On Eyes In Children Due To Digital Devices

July 26, 2021


Increase in technology development results in increase in the use of digital devices. About 75% of teenagers  have smartphones and 25% teens are constantly connected to the internet.

More than 75% of teens have their social media accounts on different social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed a lot to the growing use of digital devices. It had changed the whole education system. Pandemic had made children more dependent on digital devices.

As much as the health of the children is at risk outside the home during a pandemic, it is equally compromised from staying inside the home due to the excessive use of digital devices.

Why There Is Increased Use Of Digital Devices By Children?

The pandemic majorly affects education along with the health of children. The classrooms of the schools are converted into computer or laptop screens at home.

Children have to spend most of the time on mobiles and the internet for their homework, online classes and many activities. COVID-19 pandemic restricts children involved in many outdoor activities such as playing, cycling etc.

Nowadays, parents give phones to children while doing house chores to keep them calm. At an early age of childhood, children have become a master of smartphones.

What Are The Common Eye Problems In Children Due To Digital Devices?

Keeping an eye on screens continuously for a long time can cause many eye-related problems such as

Computer vision syndrome

It is the eye strain caused due to increased exposure of eyes to the digital screen. It is a combination of symptoms that includes headache, fatigue, tired eyes, dry eyes and fluctuating vision. It also causes pain in the neck, back and shoulder.

Impairment in posture

Using a digital device for a long time in the same posture can cause muscle strain and tension which causes discomfort in the whole body mainly in the eyes, head, and neck.

Myopia (nearsightedness)

An increase in screen time also contributes to the development and progression of nearsightedness among children.

Increase blue light exposure

Blue light emitted from devices is very harmful to children’s eyes as well as their mental health. It can cause frequent headaches, fatigue and sleep disorders. You can also activate the eye protection feature now available on most devices.

Blurry vision

Staring at the same distance for a long time can cause the eye’s focusing system to go into spasm. It is noticed when the child looks away from the screen, and everything becomes a blur for some time.

Dry eyes

Children concentrate on digital devices for a prolonged time without blinking their eyes. The moisture content of the eyes evaporates easily. It results in dry eyes and causes discomfort in the eyes.

How To Manage The Digital Device Usage Time In Children?

Nowadays, it is very necessary to manage the digital device timings in children to prevent them from many adverse effects on health. As a parent what can you do to manage device usage? You can implement following methods:

  • Don’t let your children sleep with mobile phones. Ask them strictly to keep all devices away for 1 hour before sleep.
  • Promote media-free time during dinner by turning off the TV and put the smartphone on ‘do not disturb’
  • Encourage your young ones to involve in different activities such as sports, exercise and talking to each other.
  • You should also promote the 20-20-20 rule while using smartphones or laptops. The 20-20-20 rule states that a person should look away from the screen after every 20 minutes to focus on the object placed at 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
  • You can encourage your children to take few minutes break from the screen after every  hour
  • Frequent blinking can reduce the chances of dry eyes. You can simply ask your child to blink more.
  • According to the experts, you can also follow the 1/2/10 rule that indicates the ideal position of digital devices from your eyes. For instance, the distance for mobile phone is 1 foot, for laptops or desktops 2 feet and roughly 10 feet for televisions.
  • Regular eye examinations are preferred to maintain your child’s healthy eyes.


The use of digital devices is increasing day by day. Similarly, it also multiplies its adverse effect, especially in children. Parents need to restrict their young ones from not to expose to digital devices excessively.

Limiting exposure to devices and encourage engagement in various indoor activities such as talking, reading etc can prevent your child from several eye problems. It also helps in enhancing mental health.


Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.