Many pediatric eye doctors believe that heavy computer use among children puts them at risk for early myopia. Recent research appears to confirm that fear.
A large study conducted by the National Eye Institute and published in the December 2009 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology found that the prevalence of nearsightedness among Americans has increased from 25 percent to 41.6 percent of the population over the past 30 years — an increase of more than 66 percent.
Also, among people with 12 or more years of formal education, the prevalence of myopia is now as high as 59.8 percent.
Should you worry about how much time your child spends in front of the computer every day?
Sitting for hours in front of a computer screen stresses a child’s eyes because the computer forces the child’s vision system to focus and strain a lot more than any other task. This can put children at an even greater risk than adults for developing symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
Today it is a “near-point world,” and parents need to be aware of the vision problems associated with computer work. Computer use demands fine motor skills from young eyes that are not well developed. Only when the visual system matures is a child better able to handle the stress of a computer on that system.
Parents should consider these factors affecting children and computer use:
If your eyes itch, are red, tearing or burning, pay attention to what they may be telling you. You may have eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, a condition that affects millions of people each year. It is a condition that can occur alone, but often accompanies nasal allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, sniffling and a stuffy nose. And, while most people treat nasal allergy symptoms, they often ignore their itchy, red, watery eyes.
Eye allergy triggers
Allergens that may be present indoors or outdoors can cause eye allergies. The most common outdoor airborne allergens are grass, tree and weed pollens. People who are sensitive to these allergens suffer from seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, the most common type of eye allergy.
Pet hair or dander, dust mites and molds are the most common indoor allergens. These indoor allergens can trigger symptoms for some people throughout the year, resulting in perennial allergic conjunctivitis.
Cigarette smoke, perfume and diesel exhaust may inflame your eyes. They can act as irritants that cause non-allergic symptoms, or they can make your allergic response worse.
Eye allergy causes
Just like hay fever and skin rashes, eye allergies develop when the body's immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something that is ordinarily harmless. An allergic reaction can occur whenever that "something" - called an allergen - comes into contact with your eyes. The allergen causes certain cells in the eye (called mast cells) to release histamine and other substances or chemicals that cause blood vessels in the eyes to swell, and the eyes to become itchy, red and watery.
Can eye allergies harm my eyesight?
Eye allergies, specifically allergic conjunctivitis, can be extremely annoying and uncomfortable, and they may disrupt your day-to-day activities, but they usually do not harm your eyes. However, there are rare conditions that are associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema) and other diseases can cause inflammation that may affect the eyesight. Chronic forms of eye allergy may also be caused by application of eye drops and creams, or even cosmetics.
What to do if you are unsure?
More than likely a simple antihistamine can help with your symptoms, but in cases where the allergy symptoms are persistent or unbearable, we can have a look for you and let you know what you can do to make the symptoms better. Book your appointment by calling (905) 751-0169.
With over 30 years experience licensed optician Joe Bushara and his highly experienced team, bring you the latest trends in frames and technologies in lenses from around the world.