Children use computers extensively today which can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision and headaches. However, some unique aspects of how children use computers may make them more susceptible than adults to the development of these problems.
The potential impact of computer use on children’s vision involves the following factors:
Children often have a limited degree of self- awareness
Many children keep performing an enjoyable task with great concentration until near exhaustion (e.g., playing video games for hours with little, if any, breaks). Such prolonged viewing can be very harmful.
Accommodative problems may occur as a result of the eyes’ focusing system “locking in” to a particular target and viewing distance. This may cause the eyes to be unable to smoothly and easily focus on a particular object, even long after the original work is completed.
Children are very adaptable
Children are adaptable. So they frequently ignore problems that would be addressed by adults. A child who is uncomfortable viewing a computer screen with a large amount of glare often will not think about changing the computer arrangement or the surroundings to achieve more comfortable viewing. This can result in excessive eye strain. Discomfort can also result from dryness due to infrequent blinking. Also, children often accept blurred vision caused by nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hypermetropia), or astigmatism because they think everyone sees the way they do. Uncorrected farsightedness can cause eye strain, even when clear vision can be maintained.
Steps to Visually-Friendly Computer Use
Have the child’s vision checked. A comprehensive eye examination will help detect any hidden conditions that may contribute to eye strain. Accordingly, glasses, lenses or other treatment can be started timely.
Build in break times. A brief break every hour will minimize the development of eye focusing problems and eye irritation.
Carefully check the height and position of the computer. The child’s size should determine where the monitor and keyboard are placed. One should use an adjustable chair that can be raised for the child’s comfort. Carefully check for glare and reflections on the computer screen. Adjust the amount of lighting in the room for sustained comfort.
For more information and any queries please contact your Ophthalmologist at Bahrain Specialist Hospital.