The lives of children all over were turned upside down when schools shut down and began online school in March 2020, and even though many kids are back to in person learning now, they could still have lasting effects from their year of learning online. Not only did kids spend hours staring at a computer screen, many were also not able to go to their regular eye screenings, leading to issues going unnoticed.
As your kids return to school for the 2021/2022 school year, it's more crucial now than ever that you have your children's eyes checked to make sure they don't have any developmental issues, and LaSante Health Center is happy to help you get that done. Our optometrists Dr. Mostofsky and Dr. Hilowitz know exactly what to look for when checking to make sure your children's eyes weren't affected by online learning. They will look for things such as the following:
According to some doctors, myopia, more commonly known as near-sightedness, has risen since the pandemic. One of the factors that's thought to reduce the risk of myopia is spending time outdoors, something that was very limited during lockdown. Some signs of myopia to watch for in your child are squinting, frequent eye rubbing and complaints of blurry vision. It's very important to find myopia early and prevent it from progressing as it can cause other vision problems down the road.
Lazy Eye or Misaligned Eyes
Doctors have linked an increase in screen time to increased symptoms of “drifting" eyes. Lazy eye and misaligned eyes, or strabismus, seem to be becoming more common as children lose control of their eyes due to eye fatigue from staring at screens.
Eye Strain and Dry Eye
Many children will suffer from eye strain or dry eyes from staring at a screen all day. Both of these can present as eyes that feel achy, tired, dry or irritated, and can even cause headaches.
Fixing These Issues
If your child appears to be having any of these issues, don't worry, our doctors at LaSante Health Center are excellent at working with your children and determining what is best for your kids' eyes. They may suggest limiting screen time, using a larger screen that is farther away or spending more time outside. While those are just minor changes to your children's lifestyle, it's still important that your child visits an eye doctor, especially as they're heading back to school. Many of the problems caused by online learning are siple fixes that will only serve to help your children in the long run.
If you'd like to make an appointment for your child with one of our optometrists, please click here.