Local ophthalmologist speaks on safety with eyes and blue lights

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)– Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are now taking classes online which is causing to them to stare at a computer screen for hours a day.

Dr. McKenzie is an Ophthalmologist at Appalachian Eye Care in Princeton. She said since school went virtual, she’s seen an increase of students coming to her office.

“So, I would actually say that almost half of my patients, now, have been students coming in and complaining about headaches and eye strain. A lot of the previous patients that I had in the past that actually did not need glasses and now they have been complaining a lot,” Dr. McKenzie said.

According to research by the American Optometric Association, nearly 40 percent of people are diagnosed with nearsightedness. One in four parents with children between the ages of 3 and 12 are diagnosed with myopia.

“But actually, now it is become more and more common and has actually progressed a little bit faster and because of this we actually have different, well there is a new treatment out to help with the myopia control to help slow down that progression because we are seeing a huge increased, and people becoming more nearsighted,” Dr. McKenzie stated.

Dr. McKenzie also recommends people get blue light lenses to help them while they are working on the computers.

“So I always recommend especially now for my kids in any grade now. I mention the blue eye blocker. Those have been one of the newer things that are out I also recommend those. They will protect from the harmful blue light and from the sun also from your computer screen. It will also help with eye strain and eye fatigue and it will also kind of just relax your eye,” Dr. McKenzie said.

Dr. McKenzie said if your child is having problems seeing, you should take them into a eye doctor to get an eye examine.

“So I would give you know your local Ophthalmology office a call and say hey this is going on, I want my child to have a checkup,” McKenzie stated.

Another thing Dr. McKenzie told her patients is to always practice the 2020 rule when looking at a computer.

“Every 20 minutes you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will allow you to give your eyes some rest. So you are not just looking at a computer screen or the phone all day long,” Dr. McKenzie stated.

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