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What happens when your kids Spend too much time in Front of Computer?

What happens when your kids spend too much time in front of computers? If your kids spend 2 or more than two hours at a computer every day, then they are at greatest risk for developing "Computer Vision Syndrome"(CVS). According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects some 90% of the people who spend three hours or more at day at a computer. In this day and age, where students and working adults spend hours and hours on end in front of the computer screen, CVS is more common than you think. It has been said that people who spend more than a mere two hours on a computer each day tend to suffer from this ailment.

What happens when your kids spend too much time in front of computers?

If your kids spend 2 or more than two hours at a computer every day, then they are at greatest risk for developing "Computer Vision Syndrome"(CVS). According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects some 90% of the people who spend three hours or more at day at a computer.

In this day and age, where students and working adults spend hours and hours on end in front of the computer screen, CVS is more common than you think. It has been said that people who spend more than a mere two hours on a computer each day tend to suffer from this ailment.

Statistics show that, in general, such eye and vision problems afflict some 70 to 75 percent of people with desk-bound jobs who work in front of the computer. This makes CVS the most frequently reported health problem among these computer workers.But how to know that you are having the CVS?

The American Optometric Association provides the answer of this question.

Computer Vision Syndrome describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing a computer screen for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer use.                       

CVS is caused by decreased blinking reflex while working long hours focusing on computer screens. The normal blink rate in human eyes is 16–20 per minute. Studies have shown that the blink rate decreases to as low as 6–8 blinks/minute for persons working on the computer screen. This leads to dry eyes. Also, the near focusing effort required for such long hours puts strain on ciliary muscles of the eye. This induces symptoms of asthenopia and leads to a feeling of tiredness in the eyes after long hours of work

Prevention or reduction of the vision problems associated with Computer Vision Syndrome involves taking steps to control lighting and glare on the computer screen, establishing proper working distances and posture for computer viewing, and assuring that even minor vision problems are properly corrected.

When kids spend hours playing computer games in solitude, they spend less time socializing with their family and peers. This solitude overrides development of other activities and skills and potentially creates difficulties getting along and socializing later in the workplace.

A child makes more than 4,000 eye movements in just one hour while playing computer games. Frequently they have difficulty tracking the movement in horizontal, vertical, and oblique directions. Playing computer games and staring at the computer screen for as little as 20 minutes causes the visual system to become locked into focus at the screen’s distance. When a child tries to refocus in the distance, it is blurry.

Blinking is also reduced when a kid stares at a computer screen while playing computer games. Normally blinking occurs 15 times per minute and is a natural way of lubricating our eyes. Kids as young as 8 years old wear contact lenses, and reduced blinking causes their eyes to dry out and become irritated. Reduced blinking also causes redness with or without contact lenses.

Repetitive motion from typing at a computer keyboard and using a mouse can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Awkward postures create neck and back problems in children, just as with adults. These problems can interfere with a child’s sleep, performance in school, and the discomfort can create negative attitudes.

How to prevent computer vision syndrome in children?

Many pediatric eye doctors believe that environmental stress of the "indoor world" rather than heredity is creating the myopia (nearsightedness) epidemic. In fact, children using computers before their visual systems are fully developed are at the very heart of the public health problem called computer vision syndrome.

1. Before starting school, every child should have a comprehensive eye exam, including near-point (computer and reading) and distance testing.

2. Workstations should be arranged to suit a child — not an adult.

3. The recommended distance between the monitor and the eye for children is 18-28 inches. By viewing the computer screen closer than 18 inches, children risk straining their eyes.

4. Parents and teachers should be aware of any behavior that indicates potential problems, such as eye redness, frequent rubbing of the eyes, head turns and other unusual postures, or complaints of blurriness or eye fatigue. Avoidance of the computer may also be an indication of discomfort.

5. Regular checkup by a Paediatric ophthalmologist

Medical

1. Refractive errors. Correction of refractive errors at an earliest is the key to solving most of the problems. The child should be examined by a trained ophthalmologist and/ or Paediatric ophthalmologist.

2. Orthoptic treatment. If the child is found to have convergence insufficiency, problem with fusion, appropriate exercises in the form of pencil pushups or dot card or stereograms are to be used. Exercises to buildup fusion are to be given once the acute complaints of head and eyestrain are taken care of.

3. Lubricating drops. Multiple preparations are available. The instillation modality depends on the severity of symptoms. In children, care should be taken to rule out any vitamin A deficiency and Vitamin A supplements can also be given.

 * Performing eye exercises can help to relieve visual discomfort and eye fatigue.

Regular vision breaks coupled with exercise also promote eye muscle flexibility, generally boosting your eye focusing and concentration abilities.

Regular eye examinations and proper viewing habits can help to prevent or reduce the development of the symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome.

More studies:

* Computer Vision Syndrome

* Kids and Computers: Eyes and Visual Systems

* How Computers Affect Your Child's Health

* Computer Vision Syndrome and children

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Comments (2)

we are becoming a world that will all soon suffer from this. I think the key is definitely to take time away, blink more often to stop the dry eye and remember there is a world outside too! It is amazing what we can learn from the computer!

Excellent

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