Children and Computer Vision Risks

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These days children and computers are basically inseparable. We should be considering what the effects of computer usage might have on your child’s eyes and vision. There is concern that excessive computer use during childhood may have adverse effects on a child’s physical development.

Children who spend excessive hours in front of a computer have greater risk of developing computer vision syndrome. If you or your child spend more than two hours per day in front of a computer screen, you are most likely experiencing some degree of computer vision syndrome.

Sitting for hours in front of a computer screen stresses a child’s eyes because the computer forces the child’s vision system to focus and strain a lot more than any other task. Computer use demands fine motor skills from young eyes that are not well developed. Only when the visual system matures is a child better able to handle the stress of a computer on that system.

Researchers feel that fatigue caused by excessive focusing cause’s progressive myopia. To reduce the risk of focusing fatigue experts came up with the “20-20-10” rule: For every 20 minutes your child should take his eyes off the computer and look at an object at least 20 feet away at least 10 seconds.

To reduce children’s risk of computer-related vision problems make sure they are sitting in a “neutral” posture when working at the computer. The computer screen should be approximately 15 degrees below eye level, back is straight and the head is balance on the neck. Besides having good posture when using the computer experts recommend stepping away from the computer every 20-30 minutes. This will help relieve muscle tension that contributes to computer vision problems.

Overexposure to harmful blue light can increase the risk of macular degeneration. All digital devices with screens emit significant amounts of blue light. The best way to reduce the risk of blue light exposure is to purchase eyeglass lenses that have a special treatment to block harmful HEV rays. There are many eyewear companies that offer-blocking lenses such as Crizal Prevencia No-Glare lenses. Computer glasses eliminate the constant refocusing effort that your eyes go through when viewing the screen. To protect your eyes from both UV and HEV rays purchase eyeglasses with photochromic lenses which is very convenient.

It is important to make sure your child receives a comprehensive eye exam yearly. Computers are an important part of daily life and education.

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