From their very first years of life, more and more children have access to TV sets, mobile phones, or tablets with bright screens. Often, these are quick ways for parents to keep children calm, reward them or convince them to eat. The negative consequences of exposure to bright screens have been confirmed by several studies. And one of the most serious risks is affecting children’s sight.
“The quality of vision is impaired, but strabismus can also occur. I see many children with strabismus from too much exposure to tablets or phones, and they need surgery. This exposure to screens in the early years of life is very dangerous. The situation worsens after puberty, the children don’t get away from the screens. Refraction errors are more and more common, myopia is more and more serious when smaller screens are used”, warns Dr. Mürüvvet Ayten Tüzünalp, a 20-year-old pediatric ophthalmologist at ACIBADEM Altunizade Hospital.
Another situation reported by the ACIBADEM expert on ophthalmic problems in children is the rapidity with which visual problems may occur, due to the use of bright screen devices.
“As compared to 15 years ago, we see more adolescents who need glasses because they use phones and tablets. After the children are given their handsets or tablets, they come to me with strabismus, after just a few months of use. This was not happening before using the screens, and now we need to intervene surgically”, adds the pediatric ophthalmologist.
Moreover, Mürüvvet Ayten Tüzünalp, who consults and treats children with ophthalmic problems at ACIBADEM Altunizade Hospital, has a strong stance on the time spent by children in front of screens.
“Before the age of 3, no child should use bright-lit objects. After the age of 3, they are allowed for an hour a day, but divided into 3 rounds of 20 minutes with breaks. After 6 years, they can spend two hours. The main recommendation we make to parents is to take care of children’s health by protecting them from bright screens”, concludes Mürüvvet Ayten Tüzünalp.