In today’s society, we have technology and entertainment available to us 24/7. The average screen time for children is above six hours per day. This continuous connection to technology causes the younger generation to spend less time being active and creative outdoors, opting for easier and less developmental activities on digital devices. Young children are often glued to an iPad or tablet, focusing just a few inches from the screen. Currently, 25% of the world population has myopia (nearsightedness) and that percentage is expected to increase to 50% by 2050.
Kelowna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we are blessed to have that Okanagan sunshine. Spending time outdoors is not only enjoyable, but it is also important for optimum eye health. Although ultraviolet rays can be detrimental, natural light is essential for normal eye development in children. According to several recent studies, encouraging children to spend more time outdoors may be a simple and cost effective way to improve their vision. Current research has shown that every additional hour children spent outside per week reduced their risk of nearsightedness by two percent. Although, researchers don’t know exactly why playing outside is beneficial, it seems natural light has a protective role against nearsightedness. Children should wear UV eye protection outside, that way they gain the eye and health benefits from playing outside, without accumulating long term UV damage.
With the school year right around the corner, remember to book your children in for their back to school eye exam. At Nuvue Optometry, we provide a fun and child friendly environment. Our office has the “Eye Cave” for children to play in while in the waiting room. All children receive a colour vision screening, 3D vision testing, and a thorough eye health and vision assessment during their examination. The Nuvue optical has the coolest selection of children’s glasses and sunglasses. We have very friendly staff and we would love to meet some of our future Glenmore patients. Drop by and say hi anytime!