Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) August 18, 2015
A recent Yahoo Finance article warned that increased use of computers and other digital devices by children could lead to serious eye health and vision issues.* The article used the term “digital eye strain.” It listed symptoms to watch for and suggested avoidance strategies. Fresh water advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne agrees with the article but believes it would have been even more helpful had they mentioned the link between digital eye strain and dry eye disease
*("The 21st Century Child: Increased Technology Use May Lead to Future Eye Health and Vision Issues, According to American Optometric Association," MarketWired via Yahoo Finance, August 11, 2015 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/21st-century-child-increased-technology-193628727.html)
Kleyne recently discussed childhood eye health, computer use and dry eye on her Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio broadcast of August 17, 2015. For the live show or a podcast, go to http://www.SharonKleyneHour.com.
The syndicated broadcast, hosted by Kleyne, is heard weekly on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. The education oriented show is sponsored by Bio-Logic Aqua® Research, founded by Kleyne and specializing in fresh water, the atmosphere, accelerated body surface evaporation and dehydration. Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center’s signature product for dry eye.
Digital eye strain symptoms described in the Yahoo Finance article included burning, itchy or tired eyes, headache, fatigue, blurred vision and neck pain. Strategies to avoid digital eye strain included the “20-20-20 rule” (take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away), limiting time spent each day on computers or digital devices, and annual medical eye exams.
The symptoms listed in the article, Kleyne notes, are identical to the symptoms of dry eye disease, the most common complaint heard by Ophthalmologists in the United States. Recent dramatic growth in the incidence of dry eye disease among children and adults is attributed in part to the burgeoning use of digital screens. Other causes include increasingly dry, warm and polluted environments associated with climate change. Dry, warm and polluted air accelerates the evaporation of liquid water from the eye’s delicate tear film covering (which is 99 percent water), into the atmosphere
If an individual already has dry eye problems caused by environmental factors, says Kleyne, working at a computer for long hours could make the situation much worse.
It is well known, according to Kleyne, that using a computer or watching TV reduces the reflexive blink rate of the eyelids. Blinking re-moisturizes the tear film. A normal blink rate is 20 to 30 times per minute. Any activity involving the eyes that is deeply engrossing, especially a activities involving bright lights, tiny print and constantly changing images, can reduce the reflexive blink rate to as low as three times per minute. Reduced blink rate greatly increased exposure of the tear film to the outside environment, which significantly increases the tear film’s evaporation rate. The result: Dry eye symptoms.
In addition to the preventive strategies described, Kleyne suggests several strategies based on the fact that in a humid environment, the tear film will absorb water vapor from the surrounding atmosphere. Kleyne’s additional strategies are designed to maintain proper tear film water content.
First, make sure the room is properly humidified and there are no drafts. Room humidity should be between 40 and 70 percent. Bowls of water, house plants and room humidifiers are also helpful. Second, drink at least eight glasses of water per day in addition to all other fluid intake. Children should drink half their body weight in ounces per day (so a 50 pound child would need 25 ounces of water a day).
Finally, keep a personal eye humidifying device near the computer and apply whenever eye discomfort is felt. Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® for dry eyes, from Kleyne’s Bio-Logic Aqua® Research, instantly supplements tear film moisture with a pure water mist resembling natural absorbent humidity.
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