Salem optometrist sees a rise in child eye issues due to COVID-19

Roanoke Valley News

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — The COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of children to undergo virtual learning, putting a lot of strain on their eyes.

According to the American Optometric Association, one in four parents say their child has Myopia — also known as nearsightedness — a condition where you can only see objects clearly when close.

An optometrist at Invision in Salem, Dr. Scott Mann, says he has seen an increase in children needing glasses or eye care.

“What we’ve been seeing more and more is symptoms of headache and fatigue from digital use, and we have seen that increase in the last year,” said Dr. Mann.

He added that blue light glasses, or filters, do not help the situation. For some children, they add even more headache and fatigue. Dr. Mann suggests that parents follow the 20-20-20 rule.

“Every 20 minutes take a 20-second break and look 20 feet away. The goal is to help the eyes relax and de-focus so there is less eye strain and fatigue,” said Dr. Mann.

According to Dr. Mann, parents should have their children get frequent evaluations from their eye care provider. He also tells WFXR News that Invision will try to see if there is a necessary prescription, find lenses, and check on their eye health.

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