Dr. Lance Kugler Featured on Podcast About Screen Time for Kids
When was the last time you went somewhere without a phone, computer, tablet, or iPad? How often do your kids watch a show on a device in the car or play games on a tablet? Electronics have become a necessity to us as adults, whether we are working, scrolling social media, or using them as a parenting hack to keep the little ones entertained. Even if we aren’t proud to acknowledge it, we are all guilty of relying on these devices and their convenience, but what does that mean for our eyes and the developing eye health of our children?
Lance Kugler, MD, was recently featured as a guest panelist on the Omaha Medical Society’s podcast: Health 101. This episode highlights society’s dependence on electronics and Dr. Kugler explains how screen time plays a key role in eye health, specifically the eyes of adolescents. He also explores the correlation between the abundance of screen time and myopia, a treatable epidemic.
Myopia: A Treatable Epidemic
Myopia (nearsightedness) is a rapidly growing vision problem – a far-reaching epidemic. Myopia is affecting 35 percent of the world’s population and rates are continuing to soar. Both environmental and genetic factors contribute to nearsightedness, but one noticeable correlation is that increased up-close screen time seems to be a factor in this alarming phenomenon. Looking at anything within 4 or 5 feet (not just screens!), whether it’s a phone, book, tablet, or game, requires your eyes to adjust. When your eyes are in this “zoomed in” mode for an excessive amount of time, that can have a damaging effect on your vision down the road.
Another important relationship is screen time and dry eye syndrome. Because you get invested in what’s on your phone, spend long days at work staring at your computer, or play addictive video games at all hours (this is especially true for teenagers), your eyes don’t get a break. You stare more and blink less when you are really focusing, and this can be harmful to your eye health as well. Your tears evaporate and leave your eyes feeling fatigued, dry, itchy, and even red. This medical condition, just like myopia, is treatable, and at Kugler Vision, we can help you find dry eye relief based on your specific vision issues. To learn whether you may be suffering from this condition, click the button below to take our dry eye self-test.
One important statistic that Dr. Kugler addresses in this podcast is that “there’s 3.4 billion nearsighted people worldwide, projected to be 4.8 billion by the year 2050.” This staggering statistic makes it that much more exciting to know that there are now seven different vision correction procedures available to help eliminate the need for glasses and contacts that were prescribed due to myopia. These seven different vision correction procedures are: LASIK, PRK, SMILE, corneal inlays for near vision, ICL, refractive lens exchange (RLE), and laser cataract surgery.
The good news is if you are one of the 35 percent who are struggling from myopia, there are options. More people than ever before are candidates for LASIK or another vision correction procedure, due to incredible technological advancements. To find out if you’re one of them, take our 60-second self-test. This vision quiz can help tell you which procedures you’d likely qualify for, and is a great first step in your LASIK research. To take our self-test, simply click the button below.
Overall, technology is an amazing thing and has come so far in such a short time. Although it can have negative effects, the fact is this is our new reality and the best thing we can do is find the balance. The important thing is to regulate young children’s screen time, teach older kids to self-regulate screen time, and hold ourselves accountable as role models to do the same. Our eye health, physical health, mental health, and social health are all affected when we are consumed with screens and technology. Finding activities to do with family and friends that are enjoyable and aren’t technology-based can have a lasting impact on our overall health.
More About Dr. Kugler
Lance Kugler, MD, a proud Omaha native, is a specialist in laser vision correction and is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is internationally recognized as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA), an international organization comprised of over 300 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. Dr. Kugler has delivered a TEDx Omaha talk on reframing society’s view of vision correction and treating the myopia epidemic. Dr. Kugler is an associate professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute. He has been published in many medical journals and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery.
Correct Myopia With Modern LASIK
What is holding you back from making this your year for crisp, clear vision? One of the nation’s foremost LASIK experts is conveniently located right here in Omaha and is ready to help you achieve your vision goals. If you’re still dealing with the hassles of glasses and contacts, call the Kugler Vision team at 402-558-2211, or schedule your EyeAnalysisTM consultation by using our convenient online scheduler. We can’t wait to help you achieve your best vision possible!
Mike Stuntz, MD is a fellow in refractive surgery at Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska. Under the tutelage of former RSA president Dr. Lance Kugler, he continues to build on a solid refractive surgery experience during his residency at The University of Nebraska Medical Center. His career was sparked during numerous hours of refractive surgery training, observing firsthand the impact on the lives of patients and their often unrestrained joy at the improvement of their vision. He is excited about providing this quality of care to a wide range of patients.