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Kids and Computer Vision Syndrome

Posted by Dr. Danny P. Malone on Sep 30, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain, is the result of two or more hours in front of a digital screen, including tablets, computers, and phones. It consists of dry and irritated eyes, eye fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches as well as neck and back pain.

Limited Self-Awareness

tabletAll ages can suffer from computer vision syndrome. But it can easily impact children since they nearly always think that what they experience must be normal. That limited self-awareness can be troubling in many situations. With digital eye strain, your child may just assume that everyone has the same problems after viewing a computer screen.

Time Spent Just Flies By

We all run into this problem. As we are working on a computer, focused intently on the screen, time can just fly by. This is particularly true with kids. They are either focused on their homework or, more likely, focused on social media, videos, or games. As a result, their eyes lock in on the screen for hours and hours with a reduced blink rate, often without a break.

Computer Workstation Sizing

All too often, the computer workstation your child is using has been sized for an adult. They can be looking up at the screen rather than the ideal of a slight downward look. All this adds up to ergonomic issues, causing not only eye strain but back and neck strain.

Near Sightedness 

Undiagnosed vision problems can also be causes of computer vision syndrome. This is no different than concerns about reading problems or seeing the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. Children can’t readily determine if they have vision problems. They need to be tested periodically. 

What Should I Do?

If you feel that your child may be experiencing digital eye strain, or if you want to head it off before it begins, here’s what we recommend:

  • Eye exam. Make sure you child has an annual eye exam. It is sound practice and can head off many potential problems.
  • Reduced time in front of a computer screen. You can limit their time in front of a computer screen. This can help alleviate any mounting eye strain.
  • Try the 20-20-20 Rule for preventing digital eye strain. Have your child give their eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It works. Try it yourself.
  • Adjust the workstation sizing. As noted above, often times the computer workstation isn’t properly sized for the child. Take this into account and make the needed adjustments. 

We Can Help

We can help with the annual eye exam for your child. This can get them started on the regular vision care they need.

Use our contact form or call us at 972-612-2099 to schedule your child’s appointment.

Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

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Topics: computer vision syndrome, children