It’s an inescapable fact of modern life that children today spend a large amount of time in front of computer screens. Children now use computers more than they watch TV! Once school starts, that may increase as your child turns to his computer for school projects, and research not to mention social media.
CVS, or computer vision syndrome, is the eye strain we can sometimes all experience from prolonged time spent on a computer, and although everyone is at risk for this, children can be especially vulnerable.
What are the symptoms of CVS?
CVS is characterized by some or all of the following:
- Blurred Vision
- Dry Eyes
- Double vision
What can be done to minimize the risk of CVS?
The first step is to make sure your child’s computer work station is set up to accommodate her needs.
- The screen should be 20-24 inches from the child’s eyes
- The screen should be at a 10-15 degree angle below the child’s eye level. This is particularly important if you share a computer. Children should not be viewing at the same level as taller adults.
- The light in the room should ideally be lower than the computer screen to minimize glare.
- Children (and adults) should follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes focus on something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
When are computer glasses necessary?
If you have taken all the necessary steps above and your child still has symptoms of CVS, an eye exam is in order. Computer glasses are different from prescription lenses in that they correct for vision at an arm’s length and they have a protective coating to prevent glare. So a child with prescription lenses may need an additional set dedicated to computer use. Children who already have prescription lenses are more susceptible to CVS.