Do My Children Need Computer Eye Strain Glasses?

What Are Computer Eye Strain Glasses Anyway?
They are glasses specially designed to mitigate the effects of the digital world we are all now part of, aka digital eyewear.

Why Does a Child With Perfect Vision Need Glasses For Computer Work?
Because the digital world is different and puts different requirements on our eyes. Pixels are different to print – they are bright in the center and fade towards the edges whereas print is a solid experience. Pixels require a different way of focusing that our eyes are not used to yet and experience as a strain – a computer eye strain. Glasses can help lessen this strain.

Likewise, our range of sight is categorized into a Near vision zone (14 to 16 inches from your eyes), Intermediate vision zone (arms length, 20 to 24 inches from your eyes), and Distance zone. Digital interaction happens primarily in the Intermediate vision zone and requires the eyes to remain fixed in focus. Both the use of this vision zone and the requirement to fix focus are new demands for our eyes and as such are experienced as strains.

Parents need to be aware of the vision challenges associated with computer work. For younger children computer use, which means any digital tool, requires fine motor skills that are not yet well developed. Only when their visual system matures will the child be better able to handle the stresses of digital life.

The focal point for children’s sight is in the Near vision zone. Digital screens are usually in the Intermediate vision zone. Many young people can compensate without significant issues in the short term. But, there is some evidence that the constant effort to focus can induce so called “accommodative spasms” which may lead to increased or premature myopia – short-sightedness, according to the Macular Degeneration Society. Other young people, who have focusing and binocular problems, uncorrected hyperopia (farsightedness), or uncorrected astigmatism, experience significant symptoms of computer eyestrain.

By wearing computer eye strain glasses that are set up for computer-working-distance and that decrease the accommodative effort needed to focus on the digital screen, permanent vision changes can be prevented. Even contact lens wearers may need to wear glasses over their contacts for computer use to prevent these side-effects.

The Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety says “wearing specially prescribed computer glasses when working at your computer may keep your eyes from getting worse by reducing excessive focusing demands on your eyes. This is particularly true for teenagers, whose eyes may be more susceptible to progressive nearsightedness from focusing fatigue”.

Computer work involves focusing the eyes at close distances. Because of space constraints or lack of solid information on how the eyes function computer monitors are often placed in positions that exacerbate the already increased ocular requirements. Therefore, by wearing special glasses that decrease the accommodative effort young people can prevent premature vision changes (deterioration).