Computer Vision Syndrome: blink and you might miss it

Does your child regularly spend more than three consecutive hours in front of a screen?

For that matter, do you?

If the answer is “yes,” your family is almost certainly at risk for Computer Vision Syndrome.


Headaches. Blurred vision. Dry eyes. Fatigue. Neck pain. Dizziness. These are the most common symptoms of a syndrome that can lead to permanent injury in children.

CVS is a condition caused by focusing on a device display for uninterrupted periods - and exacerbated by lack of adequate sleep (itself a common side-effect of excessive screen-time).

According to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CVS affects about 90% of the people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.

 

eyeball


Why is it so?

Why is screen-time so harmful to our eyes when other kinds of prolonged focus - for example, reading a book - are not?

Experts point to three factors.

The first is that most of us habitually hold our screens too close - especially our smartphone and tablet screens. This causes eye strain.

Second, our screens show us pixelated images, that is, images that look solid but are in fact composed of thousands of tiny, single-coloured patches of colour.  These low-resolution images create “hard points of focus” that compete for our eyeballs’ attention.

The result, explains Vision Council optometrist Justin Bazan, is that “our focusing system is always in a state of trying to find exactly where the pixel is.” That constant focusing causes still more eye strain.

Finally, we tend to blink less during screen-use. Normally, we blink about 17 times a minute, but this often drops to 12-15 times a minute during computer use. That may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to damaging dryness.


Simple ways to prevent CVS

Switch on … and switch on!

Be conscious that CVS is a real thing (expert say many sufferers are aware of the symptoms, but not the cause).

Then, make sure devices are being used in the proper light. Keep bright overhead lighting to a minimum. Make sure desk lamps are shining on the desk, not the human! Arrange workspaces so window light is off to the side, and not in front of or behind users.

Make a blinking nuisance of yourself

Remind the kids (and yourself) to keep blinking. As if you don’t have enough to nag them about! But seriously, keeping eyes hydrated with naturally therapeutic tears is a tried-and-true fix for dry-eye.

Monitor the situation

Experts recommend that the centre of the monitor should be 4 to 8 inches lower than eye level. Looking down a bit while working means the eyes are less exposed and therefore less likely to become dry.

Practice 20-20-20 vision

Make it a family rule to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away. While you’re at it, stretch your neck and shoulders, too.

Go big or go home

Upsized fonts = downsized risk for CVS. Don’t be afraid to change to the biggest size you’re comfortable with.

Get seen to!

Out-of-date prescriptions for corrective lenses can make a bad situation worse. Make sure everyone in your family gets regular eye checks to screen for CVS and other conditions - including diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma and macular degeneration.



Worried about screen-time? What parent isn’t these days? Family Zone is a cost-effective, simple-to-use solution that lets the grown-ups manage when and where their children are online. Set age-appropriate sleep-time, study-time and play-time, block adult content, restrict social media and so much more.


Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, sleep, computer vision syndrome, dry eye, eyecare

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | musical.ly | Social Media | tiktok | child development | self-harm | sexualisation
    One mum's jaw-dropping journey through TikTok
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Pornography | Cyber Safety | Social Media | parenting | digital parenting
    Pornstar to parents: shame on you!
    Parental Controls | Screen time | musical.ly | online predators | tiktok
    It's the world's most popular app. And you've probably never heard of it.
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs

    Recent posts

     
    "Houseparty" is off the hook right now: What parents need to know

    Teen-targeted video-chatting app Houseparty has exploded over the past two weeks, as housebound kids turn to their screens to connect with ...

     
    The "new normal" brings new online risks for kids

    In these difficult times, protecting your family’s health is a 24/7 commitment - and it’s not only their physical wellbeing you need to ...

     
    "Never let a good crisis go to waste"

    Winston Churchill’s famous observation - made during the bleakest days of World War II - have a lot to teach us today, as we grapple with ...

     
    Juggling screen-time in the Age of Coronavirus, and other feats of extreme parenting

    Chances are good both you and your partner are now working from home - and quite possibly trying to home-school the kids at the same time. ...