Kids and Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome, or CVS, is a tendency to develop nearsightedness over time due to spending long periods focused on a computer screen. Though spending time on the computer is vital to many for work and even for everyday activities such as banking or paying bills, it requires your eyes to work very hard to maintain their focus. As a result, myopia, or nearsightedness, is occurring at a higher rate than ever before.

Computer Vision Syndrome and Children

Though CVS is an important consideration for adults who spend extensive stretches on the computer, it is a growing and serious concern for children, as well. Much like adults, children are spending more and more time on the computer, both out of necessity for schoolwork and to fill their leisure time. The computer has also become a vital tool for communicating with friends and family.

However, ophthalmology practitioners have noted that CVS is particularly hard on the eyes of children. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Children’s eyes are not fully developed
  • Children are not always aware of how long they are actually spending on the computer
  • Most computer workstations are arranged for adult use, so the angle of the computer screen is not ideal for a child
  • Children are not always aware that they have vision problems, because their vision issues seem “normal” to them

As a result, younger people are diagnosed with myopia at much higher rates than in years past.

Helping Your Children Avoid Computer Vision Syndrome

As a parent, you can take positive steps to help your child avoid the long-term, detrimental effects of CVS so that her vision remains better longer. Children are less likely to suffer from CVS if their parents:

  • Make sure they receive regular eye exams
  • Ensure their workstations have proper lighting
  • Ensure their computers are arranged for the best viewing angle
  • Limit computer time and/or encourage frequent breaks

If you are concerned about your child’s eye health due to time spent using the computer, these steps can help reduce the chances of CVS causing eventual myopia and the need for vision correction.

New York City ophthalmology specialist James Kelly, MD, of the Kelly Laser Center, can evaluate your child’s eyes. If he sees signs of CVS or other vision issues, he can help provide vision correction or other care to ensure your child’s vision is protected. Please contact Dr. James Kelly of the Kelly Laser Center in New York City for additional information.