The switch to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on the eyesight of children spending more time in front of screens.

This, according to a study, found that the rates of nearsightedness among young children were three times higher during the pandemic than in the last five years.

A local optometrist says preventative tools are out there to help limit the blue light that causes eye fatigue.

“The best advice, from a distance standpoint, is you want it to be a comfortable distance. You don’t want them them to be, you know, head down, you want good ergonomics. More importantly, we tell people about the ’20 20 20 rule’. After you do 20 minutes of up close work, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Some would say to take 20 blinks to help with the dry eye syndrome.” said Dr. David Cage, Optometrist with Bayfront Eyecare,

Dr. Cage encourages parents to get their kids full eye dilation exam by a local eye care doctor to best keep track of their vision.