(WMBD) — According to a recent JAMA study, many children are at greater risk of developing near-sightedness because of increased and improper screen time from the pandemic.

Dr. Pete Kehoe of Kehoe Eyecare in Galesburg said to avoid digital eye strain in both children and adults, it’s important to rest your eyes.

Kehoe said following the 20-20-20 rule is a great start.

“Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look 20 feet away,” he said. Kehoe said you should also try to take at least a 15-minute break from all screens.

He says undergoing regular eye exams is important. Other helpful tips from Kehoe include ensuring your device is not brighter than your surroundings, making sure a computer screen is about 25 inches away from your face, and smartphones and tablets should be between 13 and 20 inches away from your face.

Kehoe said the number one thing that his office is seeing is dry eyes.

“You know normally we’ll bring our eyes 10-12 times per minute. Study shows that when using a digital device you may cut that in half or even less,” Kehoe said.

He said to refresh the eyes, he teaches his patients a blinking exercise.

“Instead of closing their eyes really hard like you’re squinting, you close them naturally and try to squeeze and then hold them close for up to a minute. What that does is it kind of refreshes the tears that are being pumped when you take a blink,” he said.

In Kehoe’s office, he said they use the Heru VR/AR headset that can help diagnose eye conditions.