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Are your kids glued to the iPad or smartphone? Here’s how you can protect their eyes

Look for applications or device settings that cut out blue light, such as a “Blue Light Reduction” mode in smartphones and computers.

fitness Updated: Aug 17, 2017 08:56 IST
Agence France-Presse
Smartphones,Smartphone addiction,Eye strain
As with all other things in life, with technology too balance is key.(Shutterstock)

There is no escaping smart devices even for children. Not just school-going kids, but much younger ones too. Play educational videos or cartoons on YouTube and you can feed the pickiest of eaters with ease. Ask any mother, it works like hypnosis. As with all other things in life, with technology too balance is key. Here’s how you can protect the eyes of children from continuous strain that comes from engaging with smart devices.

Blue light is tiring for eyes, causing eye strain, and also drying eyes out. In the long term, it increases the risks of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Besides affecting eye health, blue light also suppresses the secretion of melatonin -- a hormone associated with sleep onset -- levels of which usually rise in the body from around 9pm. It may, therefore, disrupt sleep.

Lack of sleep could, in turn, potentially contribute to a drop in performances at school.

Cut out blue light

To protect children from blue light, look for applications or device settings that cut out blue light, such as a “Blue Light Reduction” mode in smartphones and computers. Also, try increasing the size of text onscreen. Don’t hesitate to ask your optician for advice. Some can now provide lenses with built-in blue light filtering in glasses for children under 16.

To make up for time spent in front of screens, outdoor activities should be stepped up to ensure exposure to natural light. (Shutterstock)

Give eyes a break

To reduce eye fatigue and dryness, it’s recommended to look away from the screen regularly for a few seconds at something far away that doesn’t emit blue light.

One technique to try: For every 20 minutes in front of a screen, give eyes a 20-second break by fixing the gaze on an object situated around six metres away. Keep blinking often to rehydrate eyes.

Spend more time outside

To make up for time spent in front of screens, outdoor activities should be stepped up to ensure exposure to natural light.

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First Published: Aug 17, 2017 08:49 IST