Are You and Your Kids Spending Too Much Time on Screens?

New Indicators of Children's Excessive Electronic Screen Use and Factors in Meibomian Gland Atrophy; Published April 12, 2021

A newly published paper in the American Journal of Ophthalmology indicates that an objective photography called a meibography may help doctors determine if a patient is spending too much time on screens and possibly help detect early autoimmune disease in certain situations. The paper entitled New Indicator of Children's Excessive Electronic Screen Use and Factors in Meibomian Gland Atrophy by Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers,, a highly respected researcher who worked at Harvard Medical school for 10 years with numerous peer-reviewed publications, is the first paper to illustrate the objective damage excessive screen time may be doing to children's Meibomian oil glands.

The authors indicate yearly meibographies for anyone on electronic screens more than 4 hours per day may help assess risks for future dry eye pain.

The incidence of dry eyes is increasing, and the dry eye market is expected to reach 6 Billion by 2027: thus, computer users need to think about what they can do while still young to save their eyelid's oil glands as trying to restore them is experimental and expensive. Note it is abnormal to feel or notice your eyes or eyelids. If your child or any loved one reports symptoms of burning, dryness, foreign body sensation, itching, redness, watering, pain, please have a full eye examination with a 4 lid meibography.

Of note, while the paper did not prove causation of Meibomian gland atrophy with autoimmune disease, the authors note Meibomian Gland Atrophy on meibography may be early markers for autoimmune disease. All patients with any autoimmune disease, such as Sjögren's syndrome, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroid disease, Eczema, and/or Rosacea (which is linked to autoimmune diseases due to an increased risk of inflammation) should be evaluated yearly with a 4 lid meibography.

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Katia Carpio   

301.896.0890 ext.149

Source: Visionary Eye Doctors