COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME
Technology is fascinating. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do at King LASIK without it! However, like many things, there are advantages and disadvantages to our modern world. For example, technology has been linked to obesity, heart problems, muscle issues, deafness and more.
But how does it affect our eyes? Recently in the news, we’ve seen the toll that our gadget-filled world has taken on eye health. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a common term that is affecting people all ages, from children to adults. While smartphones, tablets, and laptops are becoming more prevalent in our everyday world, its important to balance technology with eye health prevention techniques.
Technology in the Classroom: Good or Bad?
Remember when you were a kid and you and your friends would walk to the gymnasium during school time to get your eyes checked? Well, many schools no longer do vision screening. Budget cuts mean many schools lack the necessary equipment and knowledge to conduct quality screenings.
What does this mean for children and teenagers in public schools? Vision screenings help treat and prevent vision loss early on. Due to a lack of funding, many children no longer know what “normal vision is.” As a parent or teacher, it is recommended to watch for a child squinting or holding things close to their face, losing their place from one line to the next when reading, or misspelling words.
CVS is the next development after general eyestrain and can be caused by prolonged exposure to a computer screen (laptops, desktops, or even iPads.) Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, and even neck and shoulder pain. It is important that teachers and parents enforce the 20-20-20 rule as early on as possible.
While digital tools in the classroom have been proven to greatly enhance the learning experience, they also increase the challenges posed to students’ healthy vision and eye health. The importance of visual hygiene breaks is more significant than ever.
Prevent Blindness America is one of the oldest “volunteer eye health and safety groups dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight in America.” Below they recommend five different ways you, and your children, can prevent eyestrain and still use electronics.
- Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.
- Use a document holder placed next to your computer screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.
- Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your computer screen can also help.
- Use an adjustable chair.
- Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. An adjustable keyboard can be helpful.
It is nearly inevitable that you will use technology in your daily life. However, if you spend 4 or more hours a day looking at the screen of an electronic device, you are at risk for CVS and other vision problems. Remember to blink often and step away from the screen, we promise it will still be there when you look back.