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What is Computer Vision Syndrome for Children?

POSTED ON September 9, 2009

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Simply put, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition caused by the prolonged focusing of the eyes on a computer display.  Symptoms can include eye strain, fatigue and difficulty refocusing the eyes.  This is an increasing problem for children as the use of computers by children has increased dramatically over the years.  The increased usage of computers causes children to focus and strain their eyes a lot more than other tasks.  Whereas years ago children would use their near vision to focus on the ...

Simply put, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition caused by the prolonged focusing of the eyes on a computer display.  Symptoms can include eye strain, fatigue and difficulty refocusing the eyes.  This is an increasing problem for children as the use of computers by children has increased dramatically over the years.  The increased usage of computers causes children to focus and strain their eyes a lot more than other tasks.  Whereas years ago children would use their near vision to focus on the papers at their desk and their distance vision for focusing on the blackboard, school age kids today spend much more time focusing on their computers in front of them.

While there isn’t a study that can directly prove a cause and effect of increased computer use to early myopia, there is some corollary data to consider.  Since 1995, the percent of first graders with myopia has almost doubled.

Given the change in our computer usage patterns over the years, it is important to understand these factors and how critical it is to monitor them.  This is one reason that it is absolutely imperative that children have an annual comprehensive eye examination by a certified optometrist.  These tests should include near-point and distance examining.  A second key is to ask your Eye Care Doctor about computer eyeglasses that can help to reduce vision problems and eye fatigue.  Lastly, make sure any computer that your child is using is positioned for a child and not an adult.  The recommended distance between the monitor and the eyes of children should be 18 – 28 inches.

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