Have you ever flown on an airplane? While watching the luggage come and go, you’ve probably noticed that all of the workers have large earmuffs on. Why earmuffs in Florida? They wear them because the planes are loud! Workers at airports need to protect their ears so the noise won’t hurt them and cause hearing problems.
Workers in offices also have to be careful, not usually from loud noise but from computer use. Just like repeated exposure to loud noise can cause hearing problems, long hours focusing on the computer or digital device can cause eyestrain and vision problems. This is called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and it can lead to problems like watery, irritated eyes, headache, neck pain, and reduced efficiency at work.
Every day, I talk to patients who deal with computer vision syndrome, and I recommend ways that they can protect their eyes and vision. The right computer set up and lighting is important. Taking breaks is important. For some people, I prescribe computer vision glasses to help relieve eyestrain. You can read more about this in an article I wrote for Mashable called 5 Important Tips for Better Eye Heath in a Digital World.
But protecting our eyes and ears is not just for adults or just for work. In fact, children may be even more susceptible to certain problems than adults because they are still growing and developing. And increasingly, much of their work AND play takes place on digital devices, so parents need to be aware of how computers can affect their children and their eyes.
I’m happy to share that VSP Vision Care has a new EyeFiles video out specifically about computer vision syndrome and children:
For more specific information, check out this handy Question and Answer handout that I helped VSP Vision Care create to accompany the video. It discusses:
- What digital eyestain is
- How it can affect kids
- What the symptoms are
- Steps parents can take to reduce symptoms
If you have any questions or concerns about how the computer or handheld device is affecting your children’s eyes, please stop by or call us. You can also read previous CVS blog posts here.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.