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Screen Time and Children in North Austin & Pflugerville

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Screen time is the amount of time a person spends staring at digital displays including computers, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. In our modern and technology-focused world children are spending time on digital displays for educational and recreational purposes. Children who spend several hours on digital devices are at risk of developing vision-related problems.

Average Time Children Spend On Digital Devices

According to the Vision Council, 72% of American parents report their children regularly spend more than two hours on screens per day. It is likely that children spend significantly more time on screens than their parents think. Common Sense Media reports that children under age eight spend more than two hours a day with screen media. For 8 to 10-year-olds screen time triples to six hours per day. Kids in middle school and high school spend up to nine hours per day looking at digital displays.

Risks of Screen Time

Too much screen time can be dangerous for anyone’s eyes, children included. Screens emit a broad spectrum of visible light. While most of these light rays are harmless, blue light is a high-energy visible light that can cause damage to your eyes. Blue light has shorter wavelengths and higher energy causing harm to the retina over time. Overexposure to blue light can cause:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Eye strain
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behavior
  • Irritability

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome is a condition caused by visual stress. Symptoms include tired eyes, dry eyes, headache, and fatigue.

Unhealthy Posture

Your body naturally slouches inwards when on digital devices. Your back and shoulders round, your head tilts back, and your chin justs forward. This reaction to digital devices is called “turtling” and can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain.

How To Protect Your Child’s Eyes

It is clear digital devices will not be going away anytime soon. Therefore it is essential to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your children’s eyes from digital screens. One way you can do this is by limiting screen time for your children while at home. You can also apply blue light filters or download blue light filtering apps to all digital devices. If your child wears prescription glasses, ask us about add blue light blocking to their lenses during your next appointment.

Nighttime Use

The largest source of blue light is our sun, which tells our brain when to be awake or sleep. The high use of digital devices emitting blue light may disrupt your natural circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) by miscommunicating the time of day and if you should be awake or asleep. Stop digital device time two hours before usual bedtime to ensure your child’s sleep schedule affected by blue light.

Do you have more questions about screen time and blue light? Stop by our office or give our office a call and we would be happy to answer your questions!

Written by Dr. Drew Provost

Dr. Drew Provost grew up in Atlanta, GA, and earned his bachelor’s degree studying sociology and microbiology at the University of Georgia. He then obtained his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed 2 rotations at The Eye Center in Memphis with concentrations in ocular disease, pediatric optometry, and contact lenses. He completed a private practice internship in Marietta, GA, focusing on advanced contact lens fitting and primary care.

More Articles By Dr. Drew Provost
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  • 98% of our patients would refer us to others

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Drew Provost

Clinic Director/Founder

Dr. Drew Provost graduated cum laude from Southern College of Optometry and is a therapeutic optometrist, certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas Optometry Board.

Dr. Raymond Carneglia

Optometrist

Dr. Carneglia graduated from Nova Southeastern College of Optometry and is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas Optometry Board as a therapeutic optometrist.

Dr. Kelsey Tillotson

Optometrist

Dr. Kelsey Tillotson graduated from the University of Houston School of Optometry and is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas Optometry Board as a therapeutic optometrist.

Dr. Ashish Patel

Optometrist

Dr. Patel graduated from the University of Houston School of Optometry and is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas Optometry Board as a therapeutic optometrist.

Dr. Rachel Cofield

Optometrist

Dr. Rachel Cofield graduated from the University of Houston School of Optometry and is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas Optometry Board as a therapeutic optometrist.

Our Locations

North Austin

Find us conveniently located attached to the Costco just off Research Boulevard. Feel free to park anywhere in the Costco parking lot.

  • 10401 Research Blvd, Suite A
  • Austin, TX 78759

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 PM 4:00 PM

Pflugerville

Our Pflugerville location is attached to the Costco at the corner of Highway 130 and Kelly Lane. Give us a call if you have any trouble finding us.

  • 1901 Kelly Lane, Suite A
  • Pflugerville, TX 78660

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:15 AM 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 PM 4:00 PM
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