SENDING OUR KIDS TO ‘WORK’

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Research shows that computer eye problems are common. Somewhere between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms of eye trouble. In addition, working adults are not the only ones vulnerable to this computer vision syndrome. Kids who stare at a portable video game or who use computers throughout the day at school also can experience eye problems related to computer use. This is especially true if the lighting or computer position are less than ideal.

Working at a computer requires that the eyes continuously focus, move back and forth, and align with what you are seeing. You may have to look down at papers and then back up to type, and the eyes have to accommodate to changing images on the screen in order to create a clear picture for the brain to interpret. Also consider that there would likely be strain on any part of the body engaged in such prolonged, repetitious activity – the eyes are no different.

All of these functions require a lot of effort from eye muscles. Working on a computer is more challenging to your eyes than reading a book or piece of paper, because a computer screen also adds the elements of screen contrast, flicker, and glare. Computer eye problems are more likely to occur if you already have an eye problem – such as nearsightedness or astigmatism– or if you need glasses but don’t wear them or wear the wrong prescription for computer use.

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