DED?
July 3, 2018

A Clinical study showed that 97% of children diagnosed with dry eye disease (DED) uses digital devices such as smartphones for more than 3 hours per day 18 .

What causes DED in kids 18 ?

  • Reduced blink rate during digital device or smartphone use increases tear evaporation and results in dry eyes
  • Increased incomplete blinks  (upper  eyelid does not completely close to the lower eyelid) results in the tear film not effectively spreading over and moisturising the eye surface
  • Closer screen viewing distances, for example with small smartphone screens, can increase eye tension and weariness.

The signs of digital eye strain in KIDS include 19 :

  • Blinking more often
  • Rubbing of eyes
  • Redness of area surrounding the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Burning or stinging  eyes
  • Blurry eyes
  • Inability to perform tasks that require visual concentration such as reading or homework
  • Constant feeling  and complaining that there is “something” in the eyes

 Parents should be “eye smart” about the use of digital devices such as smartphones 16 :

  • Limit the use of digital devices.
  • Keep an “arm’s length” distance from the screen.
  • Reduce the screen glare by changing the brightness of the background colour, always keep the screen clean and decrease the amount of surrounding  light that competes with the screen of the digital device
  • Increase the size of the text for a more comfortable read.
  • Remind kids to blink more often to avoid dry eyes.
  • Take a 20-20-20 break: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away.

Clinical evidence recommends that children should spend at least 2 hours per day on outside activities to protect them from DED 19 .

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Reference

American Optometric Association. Kids’ prolonged smartphone use could trigger dry eye. 2019. Online available from: http://www.aoa.org/news/clinical-eye-care/kids-prolonged-smartphone-use-could-trigger-dry-eye. [Accessed 4 April 2019]

Reference

American Optometric Association. Kids’ prolonged smartphone use could trigger dry eye. 2019. Online available from: http://www.aoa.org/news/clinical-eye-care/kids-prolonged-smartphone-use-could-trigger-dry-eye. [Accessed 4 April 2019]

Reference

Park Slope Eye. Pediatric Dry Eye Syndrome: Signs and Solutions. 2016. Online available from: https://www.parkslopeeye.com/eye-care/pediatric-dry-eye-syndrome-signs-and-solutions/. [Acessed 4 April 2019]

Reference

Gunnar. 2017. What is digital eye strain. Online available from: https://gunnar.com/what-is-digital-eye-strain/. [Accessed 18 June 2018]

Reference

Park Slope Eye. Pediatric Dry Eye Syndrome: Signs and Solutions. 2016. Online available from: https://www.parkslopeeye.com/eye-care/pediatric-dry-eye-syndrome-signs-and-solutions/. [Acessed 4 April 2019]