Today, October 14, is Israeli International Vision Day. A good opportunity to talk about a painful fact: the average person spends 10 hours (!) A day in front of the various screens, and our children are not much better either. The question that arises is when the use of screens turns from a leisure activity into a real addiction that can affect a child’s behavior, school grades and health. These are the signs that you should pay attention to.
The child complains of headaches, dizziness and nausea
If the child frequently suffers from these symptoms, it may not be a virus that refuses to leave, but a byproduct of difficulty focusing and deteriorating vision in the distance.
The child rubs his eyes a lot
When using a computer or phone for long periods of time, the eyes blink less than usual, making them dry, causing a feeling of pain, burning and fatigue. It may also manifest itself in the need to rub the eyes frequently. “Rubbing the eyes is usually harmless, but it has been linked to the development of degenerative corneal disease in the late teens (keratoconus),” Sabag explains. If wearing glasses, it is important to check whether the number is appropriate, and whether treatment is needed to delay the growth of the number with atropine drops or therapeutic contact lenses.
The child holds the book or cell phone too close to the eyes
Is your child stuck in front of the screen all day? If he performs this action at too short a distance – this is a warning sign, which can indicate difficulty in remote vision (myopia), a disability that can develop following prolonged viewing of screens or too little exposure to daylight. “Pay attention to whether the child is holding the mobile device very close in front of him, and whether he is approaching the TV too much while watching or playing, so – you should go for a vision test,” recommends Ortal Sabag, senior optometrist and director of research at CooperVision.
The child begins to gain weight
When a child spends a lot of time in front of screens, it often comes at the expense of exercise and playing outside, which can manifest itself in weight gain.
The child complains of fatigue and difficulty falling asleep
The light emitted from the screens interferes with the sleep cycle in the brain and can lead to insomnia, so prolonged viewing of the screens, especially before bed, is a factor that should be reduced as much as possible.
The child suffers from difficulty or deterioration in studies
If you notice a deterioration in the child’s grades, find out from him and the teacher what it is due to, it may be that the solution does not lie in a private teacher – but a pair of glasses. Studies have shown a direct link between vision problems and learning problems. This is because much of the material is visually conveyed on the board, and children who have difficulty reading and erroneously copy from such a distance may have more difficulty understanding the material being taught, and accumulating gaps.
Still not convinced? Well, it turns out that the small screen does not only hurt our eyes. 5 potential damages caused by our smartphone sponsorship:
It makes people dislike you
A study conducted in 2012 found that the very presence of a telephone near us is sufficient for you to be perceived as “unpleasant” in the eyes of other people. In the experiment, the researchers let people have a conversation with a partner for 10 minutes – with some of them being near a visible cell phone, and some without. Those who were near the phone were perceived significantly more negatively than their phone-free friends.
2. It exposes you to bacteria
The statement that on an average phone there are more bacteria than in your bathroom is not a myth but a true one – and we are here to remind you that you are constantly bringing it closer to your face, including your mouth and eyes. It’s disgusting these days too, but it’s especially worrying these days – Corona virus, have you heard of it?
3. It causes anxiety and depression
A Swedish study of people in their 20s found a link between frequent cell phone use and depression in both men and women. A study conducted at Seoul University in Korea found that compared to teens who are not addicted to the phone, addicts also suffer from high levels of anxiety, depression, insomnia and impulsivity.
4. The scroll “plays” in your brain
A 2014 study found that people who use multi-tasting on the phone, for example scrolling while watching TV, have less gray matter in the front belt twist, the part of the brain that is responsible for setting and achieving goals. In other words, Instagram does not help you fight your procrastination problem, to be gentle.
5. It makes you hallucinate
And not the colorful and fun hallucinations that will give you material for writing a double album, but just the hallucinations that will make you immobile. Prof. Indiana University conducted a study on “Phantom Syndrome Vibration in the Pocket” – people who think that their phone vibrates or rings even when it does not. 89% of study participants reported that they thought they had a new alert on the phone, while this was not the case.