Digital impact: children's eye health

8 February 2023
Winter 2023

Is increased screen time causing visual and eye health problems in children? Helen Gilbert reports.

When COVID-19 sparked worldwide lockdowns in 2020, screen time among children and adolescents soared as they relied on computers and tablets to keep up with their education at home.

Primary school children aged six to 10 recorded the largest increases in screen usage, averaging an extra 83 minutes a day, while screen time rose by 55 minutes for those aged 11 to 17 and by 35 minutes for under-fives, a global analysis of 89 studies found (Trott et al, 2022). Leisure screen time (time not used for work or study) also increased for all age groups, said researchers at the Vision and Eye Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), which conducted the review.

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has presented a draft response to its call for evidence on the need for change to the Opticians Act (1989) and the consultation on associated GOC policies to its Council.

Members have been invited to have their say on the Guidance for Professional Practice - updated once every three years.

We are saddened to read reports that hundreds of patients have lost their sight completely, or had it irreparably damaged because of NHS backlogs in England.