Our electronic gadgets have definitely made our lives easier and more entertaining so much so that we’re perpetually glued to our screens whether at work or at home while we’re trying to catch up on our Netflix queues. Unfortunately, this habit has made people vulnerable to computer vision syndrome (CVS), an eye condition which is caused by staring at computer monitors for long periods of time.

Now because of how accessible and kid-friendly technology has been getting over the last couple of years, children have become increasingly susceptible to computer vision syndrome. CVS is more of a problem for children since a child’s visual system isn’t developed enough to face the same strain and stress of an adult’s visual system. Studies show that nearsightedness (myopia), due to CVS has been on the rise among children.

It is important to remember that with proper care, it’s quite possible to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome among children. Here are some tips to help protect your kids from problems caused by CVS:

  1. Teach your child to use gadgets in moderation ­– The problems caused by CVS are due to excessive use of computers or video game systems so limiting the amount of time your child is on these gadgets can help immensely. Additionally, taking 20-second breaks every 20 minutes or so, to let your child rest his or her eyes will minimize any eye strain.
    One way to do this is to vary your child’s tasks throughout the day. Apart from taking 20-second breaks while working at the computer, encouraging your child to get up and do other activities like play outside or exercise helps them avoid other problems stemming from a sedentary lifestyle. Using the computer, watching TV or playing on iPads/tablets/phones should be limited to less than an hour each day.
  2. Fix your workstation set up – Some CVS-related problems are caused by the fact that the workstations that children are using are more ergonomically-fit for adults. This means that the viewing angle isn’t apt for children, and that they’re likely to develop some back or neck pain if they can’t sit comfortably at the workstation.
    To rule this out, you can easily adjust the monitor’s angle to a level where they can easily view the display without having to strain (18-inches to 28-inches away from their face is recommended). Especially young or smaller children should work at a computer desk that’s built for their size, too, to help them work comfortably.
    In addition to all these, it’s important that the workstation has proper lighting. Adjust the lighting or room configuration to reduce glare which hurts the eyes.
  3. Get regular eye check-ups – Taking your child to your family’s eye doctor yearly for a comprehensive eye exam is important to check if there are any problems that have arisen in your child’s eyes. Near-point and distance testing which examines the eye’s ability for reading as well as the ability to see things that are far away, are just a few of the tests that are performed during this examination.

It is important to be examined by a capable eye doctor that you are comfortable with and who can explain what you need to know in a manner that is easy to understand.

If you’re in Greenacres, Florida or in any of the nearby areas, you can visit Planet Vision Eyecare and consult with Dr. Hetel Bhakta, a board certified optometric physician who is experienced in diagnosing and treating eye problems for people of all ages.