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Digital devices blamed for dry eye problem among children

HOUSTON, July 5 (Xinhua) -- A university report released here Wednesday shows that there is an increase in dry eye symptoms among younger patients due to excessive use of digital devices.

Dr. Amber Gaume Giannoni, a local optometry specialist with the College of Optometry at the University of Houston, told Houston Public Media that the more children stare at a screen, the less they tend to blink, which results in dry eye symptoms, because blinking helps stimulate the glands used to moisturize the eyes.

A recent study also shows that children as young as eight can spend six hours a day in front of a screen.

Giannoni suggested parents set limits to their children's screen time and pay attention to such symptoms as forcefully blinking, eye rubbing and eye redness.

She recommended a method of 20-20-20 to decrease digital eye strain -- a 20-second break for every 20 minutes of staring at a digital device, and looking 20 feet (about six meters) away or somewhere off into the distance.

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