Children and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Children and Computer Vision Syndrome 

In recent years, the use of computers and smartphones among children has increased dramatically. Research has confirmed the fears of many pediatric eye doctors that the alarming use of computers and the likes can put them at risk for early myopia and developing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Children can sit for hours in front of a screen, whether it be at school or at home, and over time, this can strain their eyes and make it difficult for your child’s vision system to focus.

Computer Vision Syndrome describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use. It is also referred to as Digital Eye Strain.

CVS symptoms are eyestrain, neck and shoulder pain, blurred vision, headaches and dry eyes. These symptoms are worsened by continuous glare on a computer, poor seating posture, poor lighting, improper viewing distances and a combination of these factors.

How to Reduce Your Child’s Risk of Having Computer Vision Syndrome

To reduce your child’s risk of CVS, make sure he or she sits comfortably and maintains a good posture while working on the computer. The following tips should be of help:

  • Upper arms should be kept relaxed and close to the body, not angled away from sides or tilted forward.
  • The child should avoid slumping forward over the keyboard but should keep the back straight and shoulders back but relaxed.
  • The head should be balanced in the neck and not tilted.
  • The computer screen should be positioned approximately 15 degrees below eye level.
  • Forearms should be kept flat on the desk, with the elbows forming at least a 90-degree angle.
  • The 20-20-20 rule should be followed: Your child should rest his or her eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet in front of him for 20 seconds.

You as an adult should also follow these tips to avoid the development of CVS.

Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome

There are many options used in the treatment of CVS. Your optometrist will determine which is right for your child.

One method is the use of eye drops. This helps with the moisturizing of the eyes to avoid or stop dry eyes.

Another method is the use of special glasses designed to help prevent the problem of focusing and eyestrain associated with Computer Vision Syndrome. Your optometrist will advise if this is the right option for your child.

If you suspect your child is spending too much time behind a screen, whether it be at school or home, please book an eye appointment with our wonderful optometrist Dr. Jean-Pierre today.

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