Month: August 2021

Screen Time: How much is too much?

We are in a unique time of history, almost everyone has a tiny computer in their pocket all day. From work computers, televisions, phones and tablets screen time has become something so normal we sometimes don’t even realize how much exposure we really have. Of course, some exposure is necessary, don’t go telling your boss you can’t work because TriCounty Eye Associates told you not to look at a computer screen! There are, however, things you can control to
make sure you are keeping your eye health in mind.

The Issues:

While we have discussed the negative effects of Blue Light on our blog before but felt it was important to bring up again the effects screen time can have on you and your family.

Digital Eye Strain (DES) is the most common outcome from too much exposure to electronic screens.

Symptoms of DES can include:

  • Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headache
  • Sore neck, shoulders or back
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling that you cannot keep your eyes open

DES often leads to dry eyes and puts an extra burden on the muscles in your eye that help your eyes focus. While looking at an electronic screen, you actually blink less than normal which causes your eyes to dry out faster. This in turn causes burning and stinging in your eyes.

What you can do:

The easiest solution is to limit the time you and your family spend on electronic devices. Especially younger children, as blue light exposure can cause issues with eyesight development.

A lot of devices these days have screen time timers built in so that it will alert you once you have spent too much time looking at the screen. This can help you to realize just how much time is being spent looking at the blue light.

For more necessary exposure, like looking at a computer screen for work, we recommend:

  • The 20/20/20 rule: For every 20 minutes of usage, look away for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away.
  • Eye drops to help if you have dry eyes
  • Keep your eyes and arms distance away from the screen.
  • Increase the text size on devices to see screen content more easily
  • Use blue light blocking lenses in your glasses

We have a great selection of blue-light-blocking glasses here at TriCounty Eye Associates. If you feel you or your family might be at risk of too much blue light exposure, bring it up at your next eye exam with us. Getting your yearly exam can help our doctor to identify any issues that may arise early, as well as help you to prevent issues later on.

Eye and Vision Myths-Debunked

In our world these days, with so much information readily available, it is easy for misinformation to get spread around. We think it would be a good idea to bring to light some of the myths about eyes and give you the facts.

Let’s start with the myths we know you all hear growing up:

1. Sitting close to the TV can damage your eyes – while a lot of parents may not like it, sitting too close to a TV will not permanently damage a child or adult’s eye health. It could cause temporary eye strain or headaches. Something to pay attention to if a child is sitting very close to the television could signal nearsightedness.

2. Eating carrots will improve your vision-carrots are good for you, don’t get us wrong. They do have many vitamins and minerals good for your overall health. They also possess a large amount of vitamin A which helps maintain healthy eyesight. Unfortunately, though, they will not improve your eyesight and keep you from needing glasses and contacts that you already wear.

3. If you cross your eyes, they will stay that way if we had a nickel for every time we have heard this one! Your eyes are designed to move around. This won’t happen, but it’s still fun to scare the kids with!

4. Only Males can be color blind-this myth stems from the fact that males are more likely to be color blind, but that doesn’t mean women can’t be.

Now let’s talk about the myths you hear when you were older:

5. Eye exercises can improve vision-this one just isn’t true. If you already have vision problems, eye exercises will not improve your vision or keep you from needing glasses or contacts.

6. Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes-while low light might make it harder to see the words, it will not damage your eyesight. It could cause temporary eye strain and headaches but nothing long-term will come of it.

7. Wearing glasses or contact lenses will make you dependent on them-this one just isn’t true. If you need glasses or contacts, wearing them will not make your vision worse. Glasses and contacts will only help you.

8. Eye problems cause learning disabilities -this one comes from the fact that sometimes vision issues can be mistaken for learning disabilities. Eye problems are separate from learning disabilities, but if your children are having trouble in school it’s best to look at all possible causes. This is one of the many reasons we recommend yearly eye exams at the start of every school year.

9. Losing Vision is an inevitable part of aging-Losing vision does not have to be inevitable. The best way to combat possible eyesight issues as you age is to keep up your regular yearly eye exams. A lot of eye problems can be caught early and treated.

10. All eye doctors are the same-Now we don’t know who said this one….but if you are one of our patients we know it wasn’t you! TriCounty Eye Associates pride itself on being the best eye care practice for our patients. We are continuously staying up to date on the newest information and technology to serve you better. We are a family here and treat our customers as such. If you haven’t had the pleasure of working with us, call and make your appointment today!

Our source for this information was the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They have a longer list of myths on their website. If you are looking for more information on this topic, visit

Make Your Child’s Vision appointment with Us!

That time of year is in vision! Last year’s school year looked very different for most of us. As we are all still getting used to the new normal, it looks as though face-to-face learning will be in full swing for our local school districts.

School is set to start in mid-August, so this is your yearly reminder to make your child’s vision appointment with us!

As kids grow, their vision can change, and yearly appointments to identify those changes can make a difference in your child’s learning.

Some vision skills that are needed to effectively read and learn are:

  • Visual Acuity-this is the ability to see clearly in the distance, up close, and at an intermediate distance.
  • Eye focusing-  maintaining clear vision when changing focus from far away to up close.
  • Eye-tracking- keeping eyes on target if they are looking from one object to another.
  • Eye Teaming-this is the coordination of both eyes to work together and to judge distances.
  • Eye-hand coordination-this is the ability to direct hands by using visual information.
  • Visual perceptions-this is the ability to understand and remember when they read by organizing images into letters.

Your role in your child’s eye health

It is important for parents to spot any possible vision problems as early as possible to avoid learning impairments. One sure-fire way to spot them early is with yearly eye exams. An optometrist is looking for any early signs of issues at each visit. This can help your child learn and progress better than if these possible issues are left undetected. We recommend using the start of school as a good reminder to schedule an exam. This helps to identify any potential issues before the school year begins and make sure your child is set up for success each and every year.

Call us today to schedule your child’s yearly exam!

 Moncks Corner Location

North Charleston Location