Chapters
Annual Report 2018

Smartphones can be toxic to children's eye health

An astonishing 34% of German youngsters have health complaints which, according to their parents, are mainly caused by the daily, hours-long and uninterrupted use of digital media.

A new research by Apollo, GrandVision's German optical chain, shows that the number of eye glasses sold to youngsters under the age of 13 has increased by approximately 50% since 2007, when the first smartphones were introduced. Experts therefore recommend comprehensive precautionary measures and regular eyesight tests, especially for children.

Smart devices such as smartphones and tablets are believed to have more serious effects on health than previously suspected.

Over one third of German youngsters suffer physical complaints such as tension, neck and backache or headaches. Other nearly 30% also have difficulties with their eyes, while fatigue, concentration problems and nervousness are also broadly observed.

Parents are ultimately responsible for attending to the health of their children’s eyes in a timely and preventative manner. The following simple rules when using digital devices can help avoid problems and impairments in the first place:

  1. Ensure digital devices are used in well-lit surroundings
    Artificial light in dark surroundings may permanently impair the development of the eyeball.
  2. Spend two hours per day outdoors
    Long-distance sight together with staying in bright daylight is important for eyeball development.
  3. Look into the distance
    Eyes need to regularly look into the far distance of wider surroundings for at least 20 seconds during periods when using a smartphone or computer so the eye can adjust between near and far-sight.
  4. Regular eye tests
    Children’s eyes should be regularly examined by an ophthalmologist – this is the only way to recognize and correct problems at an early stage. Eyes should be tested at the before starting school and then every two years afterwards.