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Natural Awakenings New York City

Midtown Optometrist Links Eye Damage, Tablet Use in Kids

The repeated, prolonged use of tablets and similar devices is causing significant eye
damage in young children, but that damage can be reversed, says Benjamin Lane,
OD, founder and director of the Nutritional Optometry Institute, which has offices in
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, and Midtown Manhattan.

Lane notes that millions of 4-to-6-year-olds worldwide regularly spend four or more
continuous hours staring at the screens of digital electronic devices at a very close
distance, usually about eight inches away. To relieve the fatigue from the constant
effort to focus, their eyeballs stretch—something young children’s eyeballs aren’t
meant to do. This puts them at higher risk of developing glaucoma, Lane says.
He and the Institute have documented two distinct types of damage as a result of
prolonged device use: episodic elevation of intra-ocular pressure, which potentially
elongates the eyeball, and thickening of the anterior surface of the retina from too
much exposure to high-energy blue light.

Lane says the Institute has documented that people with this type of eye damage
can reverse it by wearing special reading lenses prescribed specifically for use of a
digital tablet or similar device.

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