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Optometrist: Small-Screen Viewing Causes Vision Problems At Younger Ages

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Reading glasses aren't just for people over 40 anymore.

As WBBM Newsradio's Nancy Harty reports, all that texting, e-reading and other small screen viewing is apparently messing with our vision.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Nancy Harty reports


Dr. Valerie Kattouf, chief of pediatric optometry at the Illinois Eye Institute, says more of her young patients need reading glasses.

"I see it in school-age kids. I see it in older school-age kids – the teenagers – and I see it a lot in young adults of working age, you know, 20s and 30s," Kattouf said.

Kattouf says it is not just the fault of small cell phone screens and tablet computers. That on top of homework and reading – whether print or online – can lead to focus problems.

"The intensity of the near work without any kind of breaks or attention to what that does to you," she said.

She says young people have always had vision problems, but she thinks the increase in the amount of time they spend doing what she calls "close work" is leading to more problems with far-sightedness.

Kattouf suggests limiting screen time and taking frequent breaks to look off in the distance in order to rest your eyes.

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