Computers, cell phones and tablets have an increasingly prominent presence in our lives, especially among younger people, who not only use them as objects of entertainment and leisure, but also for study. With the return to school, and the consequent intensification of computer use by children and young people, it is important to be aware of the impact that exposure to screens can have on their vision.

Prolonged use of these devices can result in digital visual fatigue as we place a unique strain on our eyes, unlike any other visual activity. Focusing on a screen for a long period of time, or switching between several nearby devices, puts the eyes under tension, making it more difficult to accommodate. This is why people who use digital devices the most often suffer from problems related to vision and posture.

The most common symptoms of digital eyestrain are eye strain, headaches and blurred vision, as well as pain in the neck and shoulders. These are some of the strategies that should be adopted to improve these symptoms:

  • Ergonomic posture when sitting in front of a screen and the use of fitted glasses.
  • The screen must have the highest possible refresh rate and image stability, adjust the monitor so that the image has high contrast and sharpness, and the font size. The top of the screen should be slightly below horizontal eye level and approximately 50 centimeters away.
  • Take breaks and the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes focus your gaze on a point at least 20 feet away (6 meters) for at least 20 seconds.
  • Blinking frequently is also important for lubricating your eyes and improving symptoms associated with dry eyes.

If you notice that your child is constantly beginning to suffer from symptoms of digital visual fatigue, in addition to adopting these strategies, you should take them to a specialist for an eye test or, if the child wears glasses, for reevaluate your glasses prescription, and together check the set of changes necessary to reestablish visual balance in your vision.