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Technology affects children’s and teens’ eyes, too. In today’s world, children grow up staring at their phones, tablets, and computers; it’s all a part of their lives. The introduction and use of electronics starts by age 1, and most books have been replaced by these digital devices. Proper ergonomics of the use of technology and the necessity to take breaks isn’t being taught by teachers, parents, or society.

Children and teens use the computer for homework, they spend time gaming after school and on the weekends, and they socialize daily online. This is how they communicate with the world. They spend most of their waking hours looking at screens.

What parents need to realize is that this affects their eyes. As a result of so many hours being spent staring at screens, children and teens have developed dry eyes. The symptoms of dry eyes increase at an earlier age due to the introduction and excessive use of phones, video games, tablets, laptops, and TVs. People who use digital devices suffer more from meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD (which is a deficiency in the oil layer) than others. Fortunately, at 20/20 Dry Eye Spa, we can treat children and teens and have plans in place to treat them.

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PROBLEM: Suriti M. is a 20 year old college student studing computer science. She was asymptomatic and wore contacts full-time for the last 9 years. During an eye examination in 2019, her Lipiscan showed 50-60% gland loss in each eye and she had severe MGD by age 19 and had zero awareness! The recommendation was to receive the Miboflo treatment immediately to prevent further gland loss, prior to her leaving for her freshman year at college.

RESULTS: After Suriti completed her treatment, she did great her first semester at college. She had minimal dryness, but she also had very little time for the dry eye maintenance. She is a computer science major and the extensive studying and computer work, along with the lack of blinking, increased her dry eye symptoms. To combat this problem, we recommended Lipiflow. Suriti has responded well to the new treatment, and because the post-Lipiflow care mainly consists of lid cleaning, she has been able to continue with her online summer school class with minimal dry eye symptoms.

PROBLEM: Kayvon W. presented red eyes, blurred vision, and had experienced an eye infection for 2+ months. She was diagnosed with keratoconus from another doctor and was referred to us for a second opinion. Her eye dryness was so severe that her vision prescription was unreliable because her tear film was so unstable. Clinically, the front surface of her eyes appeared as if the cornea had been scraped over with sandpaper. The eye surface area included hundreds of dry patch zones which would easily cause infections that would never heal. Her best corrected vision was 20/40 to 20/50 level which is 3-4 lines worse than the optimum level of vision. It took almost 1 month for the cornea to heal up before we could even perform any dry eye treatment as her risk for infection was so high. The cornea needed to be in tact before the dry eye treatment could be successful.

RESULTS: Kayvon did have Miboflo treatment and was diligent with maintenance and at-home treatment. It took another 4-6 weeks before her vision returned back to normal. Her vision is 20/20 again, and she no longer has keratoconus. Her eye dryness is chronic, so she has continued to receive ongoing treatments and is monitored regularly to evaluate her progress.

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