How much time is your child spending on screen time? I’ll admit I don’t limit my sons time enough and I should. So many people, especially young people, and teenagers spend a significant period of time each day staring at a screen of some kind, whether that be a computer, smartphone, tablet, or the regular old TV. Now, a new study is warning parents that all that screen time may be behind a stunning rise in children who need prescription glasses.
According to the report released by United Kingdom-based eye care company Scrivens Opticians, the percentage of 13-16-year-olds in the U.K. who need glasses has nearly doubled over the past seven years — from 20% in 2012 to 35% in 2018. Two-thirds of those teens were diagnosed as being myopic, or short-sighted.
Researchers theorize that this significant increase in eye problems among young people is likely linked to excessive time spent staring at screens, which can lead to eye strain, shortsightedness, and blurred vision. In fact, the study also found that the average 13-16-year-old spends around 26 hours per week staring at a smartphone, playing video games, or watching TV.
Researchers stress that taking children and teens for regular eye checkups is extremely important, especially because many adolescents may not even recognize that their eyesight isn’t as strong as it should be.