We are very pleased to announce the launch of the new VisionHelp Group Screen Time Library, the latest addition to our open access menu of online information. Here you will find a place for advanced understanding of the human interface with screen time. A.M. Skeffington, the founder of behavioral optometry, introduced a concept nearly 100 years ago that many visual problems begin with nearpoint visual stress. The origin of that visual stress is what he described as “socially compulsive, biologically unacceptable, sustained nearpoint tasks. He could not have anticipated, years after he retired, the ubiquity of computers and other electronic personal screen devices that would come to embody these principles.
Dr. Carl Hillier, one of our founding VisionHelp Group members, introduces our new Screen Time Library as follows:
“Throughout human history, the way people derive meaning, assimilate information, process and express information has changed. We are now in a period where the main source for deriving meaning and for acquiring information is via the portal of digital devices. For many people, this portal may not be a biological compatible modality.
Processing information and expressing it through digital screen-time is a fluent experience for some, and not for others. This edition of the Vision Help Group Library is designed to help all of us optimize the visual experience of using the digital portal for our current-day activities of daily living.”
Each of the modules within our new Screen Time Library features a short introductory video to the topic, followed by a more in-depth presentation. You will gain a deeper appreciation of each topic, along with the latest research that supports the awareness to more appropriately identify and manage issues related to excessive screen time.
The first module is narrated by Dr. Daniel Press, covering Children and the Online Classroom. His emphasis is on how the many hours children are involved in screen time during education, as well as screen time while engaged in texting, social media, or gaming is feeding into the epidemic of myopia.
How do we know that a child has the requisite visual abilities to engage in screen time as related to learning? Dr. Alysa Parz covers the elements of a thorough vision evaluation that looks well beyond the traditional tests of eyesight. Here we learn about testing of the focusing, eye tracking, eye teaming, and visual processing abilities through signs, symptoms, and key measures of visual learning abilties.
Once visual problems have been identified through appropriate evaluation, what can we do about it? Dr. Noah Tannen extends the information in the previous modules, specifically as related to visual hygiene and vision therapy. He covers the methodology behind therapy, and the approach enabling us to improve a child’s ability to learn online comfortably and efficiently.
What are the environmental factors that influence how we interact or interface with computer monitors and personal devices? Dr. Jennifer Zolman provides essential guidance on optimal viewing distances, visual angles, and other features of typical computer setups. Proper lighting for the task at hand is something usually taken for granted, but we need to consider the visual quality of images with which our children engage.
In addition to optimizing the screen environment and intervening through optometric vision therapy, there are opportunities to aid visual performance as well as safeguard visual function through various lenses, prisms, and filters. What about the fuss that people have been making about blue light blocking lenses? Dr. Katie Davis explores this topic to acquaint you with fact versus fiction on this important topic.
What are the type of adaptations that patients of all ages have to make when immersed in screen-based devices? Dr. Bryce Appelbaum reviews the constellation of signs, symptoms that are associated with digital eye strain. He introduces the concept of the Computer Vision Syndrome Scale which is specific to the unique demands of the computerized visual environment, and reinforces the need for Individualized assessment to derive the best approach to care.
As a companion to each presentation, you can download the slides as well as source material. We trust that you will find the information valuable, and please feel free to address any of the issues raised through the comments section at the end of this blog. As each of our experts emphasize, the Screen Time Library will be updated as new information becomes available. We trust that you will find these presentations to be informative and useful.