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Smartphones linked to near-sightedness
OKLAHOMA CITY - Braylin is getting new glasses for his first day of 1st grade.
"Actually I noticed it watching the Thunder basketball game, he couldn't see the score," said Braylin's mother Sandy Goins.
His mother Sandy, says they wanted to make sure he wouldn't have trouble seeing at school.
"Historically its the busiest time of the year just because of back to school time," said Doctor Tyler Glaze with the Eye Care Center in Edmond.
Dr. Glaze says right now is when they see the most children and young people diagnosed as near-sighted.
"On a day to day basis we deal with parents and we have to sit down and have discussions with parents," said Dr. Glaze.
He's not surprised at what new research shows is the culprit: smart phones and tablets, or just basic screen time.
"What nearsightedness is, is its an adaptation of the visual systems, to near situations or near stimulus," said Dr. Glaze.
Researchers in Britain found most people use smartphones about eight-inches from their face, and with some using those phones for up to two-hours a day, the constant "up close focusing" can cause near sightedness. Some doctors are even calling the problem "screen sightedness."
"It's not so much the kids that are just a little bit near sighted but its the people who become very nearsighted over a short period of time," said Dr. Glaze.
Doctor Glaze says although near sightedness can be corrected, the types of glasses are often hard to make and can be expensive.
"They are much thicker lenses, and sometimes the make the eyes look really big and sometimes very tiny," said Dr. Glaze.
To combat the issue, people should take screen breaks. Also-- let your eyes rest often and parents should limit screen time for kids.
As for Braylin, who has astigmatism, his screen time is limited.
"Actually it has gotten better over the past year," said Goins.
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(Jeff Lautenberger/MCT via Getty Images)