Local optometrist reminds parents the 20-20-20 rule for virtual learning

Back to School

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — An optometrist at Rochester Regional Health’s Reed Eye Associates wants parents to remember to have your kids take regular breaks from those computer screens or tablets. Especially now more than ever, during virtual learning in area schools.

Doctor Kim Rosati says children could suffer headaches, eye strains and eye fatigue if breaks aren’t taken. Rosati recommends implementing the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes of screen time, look away from the screen at least 20 feet for 20 seconds. It’ll allow children to adapt their eyes to an environment with technology. 

“You want to make sure the distance is basically from the length of your eye to your elbow. As far as the computer goes, you definitely want to keep that further,” said Dr. Rosati. “I typically say 20 to 22 inches away from you. You don’t want to get closer because the closer you get to the screen, the more focusing you’re gonna have to do for a long period of time.” 

Rosati also talked about the topic of blue light exposure from those screens. She says it could cause eye strain and affect your melatonin levels. She does recommended filters to help reduce that. 

“I have had multiple patients come back and tell me how they do feel like those blue light glasses alleviate eye strain. So I definitely do recommend them and I think it can help with headaches and things of that nature. I think that is an important piece so that you really should be getting an eye exam with that. don’t just order the blue light glasses online. Get the eye exam and you can always add them on to a pair of glasses,” said Dr. Rosati. 

According to Dr. Rosati, it’s important to have an exam if you haven’t yet this school year. She usually recommends kids to have one before entering kindergarten. If your child has not had an eye exam and their past kindergarten, she says it may be time for one. 

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