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The Importance of Strong Preventive Ophthalmology Actions Among Children in the Age of Screens

In the digital age, the pervasive use of screens and devices among children poses a significant risk to their eye health. The increasing prevalence of digital screens in education and entertainment has led to a rise in vision problems among young people. This article explores the relevance of strong preventive ophthalmology actions, detailing the risks, preventive measures, and potential interventions by parents, teachers, and governments to protect children’s eye health.

Risks Associated with Screen Usage

Digital Eye Strain

  1. Symptoms: Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, includes symptoms like dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and neck pain. These issues arise from prolonged screen use without adequate breaks.
  2. Blue Light Exposure: Screens emit blue light, which can penetrate deep into the eye and has been linked to retinal damage and disruptions in sleep patterns.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

  1. Increase in Cases: The prevalence of myopia among children has surged, with more time spent on close-up activities like reading and screen use. Studies suggest a strong correlation between screen time and the development of myopia.
  2. Long-Term Risks: High levels of myopia can lead to serious eye conditions later in life, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Preventive Measures for Parents and Teachers

Implementing the 20-20-20 Rule

Encourage children to take a break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This simple practice can help reduce eye strain and provide much-needed rest for the eyes.

Limiting Screen Time

  1. Scheduled Breaks: Ensure that children take regular breaks from screen time. This can be facilitated by incorporating non-screen activities into their daily routines.
  2. Balanced Activities: Promote a healthy balance between screen time and physical activities. Outdoor play is especially beneficial as it encourages children to focus on distant objects, which can help reduce the progression of myopia.

Encouraging Proper Viewing Habits

  1. Ergonomic Setup: Ensure that screens are positioned at eye level and at a proper distance from the eyes (about arm’s length). This setup can reduce strain on the eyes and neck.
  2. Lighting Conditions: Maintain proper lighting in the room to prevent glare on screens. Use anti-glare screens or adjust the brightness and contrast settings to reduce eye strain.

Nutritional Interventions

  1. Eye-Friendly Diet: Encourage a diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Foods like carrots, spinach, fish, and nuts are beneficial for eye health.
  2. Hydration: Ensure that children stay well-hydrated, as dehydration can lead to dry eyes and discomfort.

Government Actions and Policies

Awareness Campaigns

Governments can initiate awareness campaigns to educate parents, teachers, and children about the risks associated with excessive screen time and the importance of preventive eye care. These campaigns can be conducted through schools, community centers, and digital platforms.

School-Based Interventions

  1. Regular Eye Check-Ups: Implement mandatory regular eye check-ups in schools to identify and address vision problems early.
  2. Vision Health Programs: Develop and integrate vision health programs into the school curriculum, teaching children about eye care practices and the importance of maintaining good vision health.

Nutrition Programs

Governments can introduce nutrition programs that provide supplements to support eye health. These programs can ensure that children receive essential nutrients, particularly in regions where nutritional deficiencies are common.

Device Settings and Manufacturer Policies

  1. Blue Light Filters: Encourage the use of blue light filters on devices. Many devices now come with built-in blue light reduction settings that can be activated to reduce exposure.
  2. Automatic Break Reminders: Advocate for device manufacturers to include automatic break reminders that prompt users to take regular breaks, following guidelines like the 20-20-20 rule.
  3. Adaptive Brightness: Support the development and use of adaptive brightness settings that adjust screen brightness based on ambient light conditions, reducing eye strain.

Promoting Outdoor Activities

Governments can create and promote programs that encourage outdoor activities and sports, which are beneficial for overall health and specifically for reducing the progression of myopia in children.


With the increasing use of screens and digital devices among children, preventive ophthalmology actions are more crucial than ever. Parents and teachers can play a significant role by enforcing healthy screen habits, encouraging proper viewing practices, and promoting a nutritious diet. Governments can support these efforts through awareness campaigns, school-based interventions, nutrition programs, and policies aimed at reducing the negative impact of screen time. By taking a proactive and comprehensive approach, we can protect the eye health of future generations, ensuring that children can enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising their vision.

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