You May Wish to Think Twice Before Handing Them Your iPad

Understanding the Impact

All the handheld devices and computers that are commonplace in our world are not doing any favors for our children’s vision.

According to the American Optometric Association, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is “the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work which are experienced during, or related to, computer use.”

At greatest risk for CVS are those who spend two or more continuous hours at the computer (hand-held video games, TV, etc.) every day.

Each year, this includes a larger proportion of the workforce, and it includes most students, who now routinely use the computer for both work and play.

Children who use computers may be even more susceptible to CVS than adults.

Children often keep performing enjoyable tasks, such as computer games, with great concentration for hours with few breaks.

This type of prolonged activity without significant breaks can cause eye focusing problems and eye irritation. Because the eyes are continually over-focusing on a 2-D screen trying to find 3-D (three dimensionality) the eye muscles stay contracted and are over-worked.

Several parents and teachers have asked….

“How is reading a monitor/screen different from reading a printed page?”

Reading a computer screen is hard on your eyes because of the way the characters are formed on the monitor.

The video display is made up of pixels, or tiny dots, rather than solid images as on a printed page. Because your eyes cannot “lock” focus on these dots, your eyes must continually focus and refocus to keep the image sharp.

This refocusing results in stress to your eye muscles. In addition, your eyes blink less frequently when you are using a computer, causing the eye surface to dry out and become irritated. The irritation makes focusing even more difficult, which can lead to headaches and neck pain.


  • Carefully monitor your child’s time on 2D screens (smart phone, iPad, computer, TV, video games, etc.)
  • Encourage your child to play outside in the real 3D world!

Limiting screen time is often a challenge – and it is worth the effort for developing eyes & brains!


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