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Unplugging Day: Is Technology Hurting Your Family's Eyes?

National Unplugging Day is a day dedicated to giving yourself a digital detox – putting away computers, tablets and even smartphones for a full 24 hours.

It is suggested that unplugging for just one day every week can improve your memory and your mood.

Many start the day by the light of smartphone or tablet in bed – reaching over to the nightstand to check social media, text messages and email from the second they open their eyes. Some doctors say staring at tiny tech too much can cause big problems; especially for children whose eyes are still developing.

“We see a lot of kids who come in who are on the tablet or phone all the time and the thing is that it can increase their nearsightedness,” Dr. Nhi Pham of Eye Associates of Grapevine said.

For adults, the result is eye strain which can lead to headaches.

“I had patients who were seeing a neurologist because of headaches they can’t do anything about and it’s all because of the computer and the phone,” Pham said.

Pham said a day like Unplugging Day is perfect for resting smartphone-weary eyes, but it can’t stop there.

"Just doing it one day will help just that one day, but the next day you are going to go back to it and again staring at the screen," Pham warned.

Pham suggests taking a 20/20/20 break from technology.

“You just have to give yourself breaks. Every 20 minutes, just look somewhere else far away – over 20 feet for 20 seconds,” Pham said. “So your focus is back and forth.”

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