Everything That You Need to Know About Computer Vision Syndrome and Children's Eye Health
Computer vision syndrome (or CVS) is a condition that is used to describe a whole range of eye strain related conditions. Symptoms of CVS range from headaches and back pain, right through to blurred vision and severe eye strain.
It is reported in both adults and children, and is linked to heavy computer and digital screen usage. As the use of digital media becomes more pervasive within society, reports of CVS are rising.
For children especially, CVS can be a major concern as many of the symptoms are linked to over-exposure of blue light. Blue light is emitted naturally from the sun, and in small doses carries minimal optical risk. However, it is also emitted from all digital screens, and prolonged exposure can be damaging to young eyes.
A report released in 2017 by Common Sense Media indicated that children between 0 and 8 years old are spending, on average, 2 hours and 19 minutes a day on digital screen media. This is over double the one hour recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians for 2 to 5 years old.
As young eyes are more susceptible to developing CVS, it is important to limit screen time in order to mitigate the risks of developing symptoms.
The link between extended digital screen time and computer vision syndrome
According to a study run by the National Eye Institute and published in the December 2009 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, it was found that the prevalence of nearsightedness among Americans has increased from 25% to 41.6% over the past 30 years; and this problem is not about to be fixed anytime soon.
It has been stated that by 2050 half of the US population will be nearsighted. This indicates that prolonged exposure to screens from an early age increases the risk to young eyes for myopia and eye strain.
This development is not only due to protracted exposure to blue light, but also to the changing social behavioral norms that are increasingly favoring inside activities over outside pursuits.
Indeed, the less natural light your eye is exposed to, the less dopamine that is released. Dopamine has been shown to decreases the chances of developing nearsightedness, and can limit the chances of you passing on the disease to the next generation.
DID YOU KNOW?
The best way to prevent children from developing CVS is to limit their screen time.