Distance Learning and Vision Problems
There are a number of changes that occurred during the past year as a result of the pandemic and distant learning. Many young students spent more time than ever staring at their computer screens, tablets and phones. Between school and social interaction and play, electronic devices seemed to be attached to kids and adults alike.
Because many kids spent last year learning from home, the vision screenings that typically occurred during the school year were delayed or not given at all. This has created a perfect storm for issues regarding your child’s eyesight.
Nearsightedness or myopia seems to be increasing at a faster than expected rate for kids who spend long hours engaged in close up work. Because kids were kept indoors during much of last year, time outside was minimized. Time away from the computer screens is a factor thought to help lower the risk of myopia. You may have noticed your child squinting, tilting their head, rubbing their eyes, or complaining of headaches or dry eyes. These may be signs that your child could have a vision problem. Not only does outside play get kids away from screen time, but it’s also good for their overall health.
Digital device overuse causes us to blink less. This prevents moisture from lubricating the surface of our eyes. Because computers were positioned closer to your child, many may have stopped wearing their eyeglasses during the pandemic. Early childhood is the most critical time for your child’s vision development.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, “undetected vision problems can impact your child’s performance both in and out of the classroom. Therefore, it’s important to understand eye health so you can recognize the signs that your child may have a vision problem and possibly need glasses.
Optimal vision is essential to the learning process.
Many people don’t realize how many problems poor vision can cause for school-aged children. The visual system in a child is still developing during the first seven to eight years of life. In some cases, glasses may be necessary to help normal visual development,” says Johns Hopkins ophthalmologist Megan Collins, M.D.
Eye strain can affect college students as well. Vision problems can greatly affect learning ability, a big reason why students in college should not be dismissive of their eye health. College students who give heed to their eye health care now may avoid potentially serious problems later.
While preparing your back-to-school checklist, be sure to schedule your child’s annual eye exam. As kids head back to the classroom, having the tools to succeed will provide a fresh start to a new year.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.