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:
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