Adolescents who spend a lot of time on the computer may be at risk of developing eye stain or "computer vision syndrome." According to the American Optometric Association, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) describes a group of eye and vision related problems that result from prolonged computer use
The most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) are:
These symptoms may be caused by:
Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing a computer screen for extended periods. The level of discomfort increases with the amount of computer use. Some of the short-term effects of eye strain and computer use are well documented but as to whether computer screens cause permanent damage over time, the data has not been conclusive.
Many of the visual symptoms experienced by computer users are only temporary and will fade away after stopping computer work. However, when individuals experience continued visual problems, such as blurred distance vision, even after stopping work at a computer then it is possible that there could be an underlying eye disorder that is made worse by prolonged exposure to computer screen. If you are having regular difficulty with your eye sight you should be seen by an Ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who is specialized in eye and vision care.)
Some important factors in preventing or reducing the symptoms of CVS have to do with the computer and how it is used:
Some exercises have been developed that may help relieve eye strain. One such exercise, called palming, involves covering the eyes with the palms of the hands for about three minutes. The eyes should be so tightly covered that nothing is visible. This exercise should be repeated until the eyes no longer feel tired. Another exercise that may help relieve eye strain involves closing the eyes and keeping them closed for about nine seconds, and then repeating the process about a dozen times. Eye exercises are generally easy to do and can be performed most anywhere. They are believed to force the eyes to rest, and may induce the eyes to produce their own lubrication.
Changes in eyesight (nearsightedness) can appear at any time in life that is unrelated to computer use. If your parents need glasses for distance, there is a good chance that you will too. In any case, getting examined by an ophthalmologist is the best way to go.