The Dangers of Too Much Screen Time

Advances in modern day technology mean that millennials are the first generation of parents who have to figure out how to limit their children’s screen time. While distracting your screaming child with a digital device that offers entertainment and educational content might be tempting, unmonitored screen time can be harmful. 

Establishing family rules with electronics can prevent them from suffering from Myopia in adulthood. While the condition develops at a young age, it becomes significantly worse during puberty as the body experiences rapid periods of growth. 

If you’re an adult with myopia, it’s good to schedule and attend regular eye examinations. Your regular eye exams will give you the opportunity to discuss laser eye surgery to correct your refractive error.

The Negative Effects of Too Much Screen Time

Whether your family sits around the TV or stare continuously at smartphones, too much screen time is harmful. It’s important to understand how too much screen time could be harming the whole family;

Sleep Deprivation

Blue light emitted from screens often interferes with the sleep cycle in the brain and can lead to insomnia. If you have a child who uses their phone in bed, consider reducing their use to avoid a lack of concentration at school.

Children who sleep with electronic devices in their rooms get less sleep than those who leave their devices in another room. A child who suffers from sleep deprivation have an increased risk of obesity, lack-decision making skills, have a short attention span and often do less well in school.

Weight Gain

As little as two hours of TV a day increases the chance of weight gain, diabetes and heart disease in adults. This is caused by less an inactive lifestyle, less sleep and bad eating habits when engrossed in a screen. 

Vision Issues

Looking at screens for long periods of time can lead to eye strain, dry eye, blurred vision, headaches and in some cases, refractive error. 

Loss of Social Skills

Kids who spend a large amount of time using electronic devices can lack the social skills that help them to develop into well rounded adult. By reducing time spent interacting with other children in person, this could impede future relations in adolescence and adulthood.

Most of the conversations about the dangers of screen time focus on children, however, it’s important to recognize that adults may experience harmful effects as well. 

Setting Family Boundaries with Electronics

It’s important to set a good example, therefore your child will find it difficult to take the electronic boundaries you’ve set seriously if you’re always on your mobile phone. It’s important to display healthy electronic consumption, scrolling through your phone or keeping the TV on for background noise will teach your child bad habits.

Communicate

Before enforcing strict new rules, talk to your kids about the dangers of too much screen time. If you can calmly explain why long-term and unrestricted electronic use can result in lifelong vision damage. 

Set Times to Unplug

Dinner time or an hour before bed are great times for the entire family to spend time together without phones, computers, TV and video games. Using your quality time to have fun and enjoy each other’s company is the perfect way to encourage your kids to value in-person interactions.

Plan Technology Free Activities

While watching a movie together or playing video games as a family are both fun activities, but it’s much healthier and productive to come up with a plan that involves zero screen time. Sunshine provides Vitamin D which is great for promoting healthy eye health, especially for children whose eyes are still developing. Plus, a lack of direct sunlight may reshape and distort the human eye, in some cases resulting in myopia. 

Summary

Although the conversation surrounding the dangers of screen time is largely focused on the eye development of children, it’s important to remember can also experience harmful effects.

Gradually introducing a digital detox once a month will have fantastic benefits for your family’s emotional and physical development, as well as your relationship. 

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis commonly causes sore, red eyelids and results in inflammation of the same. It is also likely that your eyelashes will be crusty if you have blepharitis and they also become red and irritated. You may feel some itchiness. Dandruff-like scales may develop on your eyelashes. This eye disorder is quite common and can be caused by a skin condition or bacteria. While it can affect people of all ages, recent studies have revealed that young people are more likely to be affected. 

However, the condition is not contagious and does not usually result in permanent vision damage. The two types of blepharitis include anterior blepharitis, which affects the outside front of the eyelid in which the eyelashes attach and posterior blepharitis, which occurs at the inner edge of your eyelid adjacent to your eyeball.

Symptoms, Causes and When to See the Doctor

Signs and symptoms of blepharitis include red eyes, watery eyes, itchy eyelids, greasy eyelids, red and swollen eyelids, a gritty and stinging or burning sensation in your eyes, flaky skin around your eyes, loss of eyelashes, increased sensitivity to light, eyelid sticking, abnormal growth of eyelashes, crusty eyelashes after sleep, and more frequent blinking. 

There are numerous causes of blepharitis and some of them include dry eyes, bacterial eyelid infection, Demodex eyelash mites, and similar parasites or Meibomian gland dysfunction among others. 

Blepharitis and dry eyes tend to take place simultaneously, thereby causing a lot of confusion regarding which one causes or comes before the other. This commonly happens and some eye practitioners now believe the two are behind the DEBS (dry eye blepharitis syndrome), which is a chronic eye problem. They also believe that dry eye represents the late manifestation of DEBS and treating blepharitis could help to prevent, minimize or get rid of dry eye symptoms.

It is important to remember that the exact causes of this condition remain unclear, but some of the factors that have been commonly associated with the same include a bacterial infection; rosacea, a form of skin condition that causes facial redness; seborrheic dermatitis, which causes the eyebrows and scalp to show dandruff symptoms; lice or eyelash mites; allergies, such as allergic reactions to contact lens solutions, eye medications, and eye makeup; and malfunctioning or clogged oil glands in the eyelids.

If blepharitis symptoms do not seem to disappear or improve even after taking the steps necessary to improve hygiene and overall cleanliness of the affected area, then it is perhaps time to visit your eye doctor before things get worse. 

Treatment

The typical blepharitis treatment should begin with a trip to the eye doctor’s office to establish what’s causing the eyelid inflammation. A thorough examination will reveal whether you have blepharitis and the doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment option. Some of the treatment options may include gentle eyelid scrubs, which gets rid of the buildup of biofilm and eliminates excess bacteria accumulated in your lid margins. Daily warm compresses can also effectively reduce the bacteria on your eyelids. 

Other cleaning agents you may use are prescription eyelid cleansers and diluted baby shampoo. Topical medicines may also be prescribed to eliminate blepharitis and microbes that cause it. Sometimes the eye doctor may recommend BlephEx treatment, Thermal pulsation treatment, or Intense pulsed light therapy.

Blepharitis is a chronic condition and may keep coming back if you do not take the steps necessary to prevent its recurrence. Always clean your eyelids daily so that there is no buildup of bacteria on your eyelid margin. However, you should always see your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have blepharitis and get started on the right treatment plan.

Eye Discharge and When To See an Eye Doctor

Eye discharge may signify that something is wrong with your eyes. It is often characterized by mucus, skin cells, oil, various forms of debris, and dirt collecting to form a whitish substance in the corner of your eye, especially when you are sleeping. The substance can be dry and crusty or wet and sticky, as this depends on the amount of moisture that has evaporated from the substance. Sometimes referred to as “rheum,” eye doctors Pembroke Pines says it can also perform a protective function, which typically involves removing potentially harmful debris and other waste products from your tear film, including the surface of the eye.

The eye secretes mucus all day long and it is bathed by a thin film of tears when you blink. This flushes out the rheum fast, thereby removing it from the eye before it hardens. However, when asleep, no blinking occurs. This means eye discharge accumulates and forms crusts along the eyelash line and in the corner of the eyes. This is why you are likely to develop crusts when sleeping. A few crusts in the morning after waking up is quite normal, but eye discharge secreted excessively could mean you need an eye checkup to determine whether there is a problem developing. This discharge can be yellow or green and may cause eye pain, light sensitivity or blurry vision. If that happens, you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible because your eyes may have developed an eye infection or a serious disease.

Causes

You don’t have to be worried that your eyes are producing some discharge unless it is excessive and yellowish or greenish. Inconsistency in discharge may also mean you have an eye infection or a serious eye disease. Some eye conditions can cause abnormal eye discharge, including blepharitis, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, corneal ulcer, and more. Conjunctivitis is characterized by eye discharge. The white, green, or yellow eye mucus is often accompanied by eye irritation, redness, or itchiness. Other eye infections associated with eye discharge include eye herpes, a viral eye infection that seems to recur; fungal keratitis, which is rare but a more serious form of inflammation of the eye’s cornea; blepharitis, inflammation of the lash line along the eyelash hair follicle; and dry eyes, which is the insufficient production of tears that causes the eyes to be irritated.

When to See Your Doctor

If you’ve experienced moderate eye discharge for a few days then there is no need to worry about it because it may be due to dirt and debris. The eye has a mechanism of cleaning itself. However, if the discharge is green or yellow and seems to persist, you may have to seek medical attention. Eye pain and blurred vision accompanying eye discharge may also require medical attention.

Treatment

While minor eye discharge is generally harmless and does not require any medical attention, excessive yellow or green discharge may signal a serious eye disease or infection and you should consult your eye doctor immediately. Your eye doctor may prescribe antiviral or antibiotic eye drops to help get rid of an eye infection that causes the eye to produce mucus. Some ointments can perform the same function. There are also over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops that you can use to treat eye allergies that make your eyes watery. For itchy eyes, you may try placing warm compresses over the eyes may also help you relieve some symptoms of eye discomfort and itching.

Eye discharge can be a sign of eye irritation or infection. If the symptoms do not disappear after a few days and over-the-counter eye drops do not work, it is best to consult your eye doctor because your eyes may be infected.