© Jacek Chabraszewski | Dreamstime.com
Avoid Eye Strain from Computer Use
My son’s school requires him to read on the computer much of each day. He has slowly developed vision problems. Could this be related to computer use?
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), a majority of parents worry about the risk prolonged computer use may have on their children’s eyes. Using any digital device for two hours or more causes the eye to blink at a lower rate. According to the AOA, this can impact your child’s vision, causing eye strain or irritation, fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, even neck or back pain from poor posture.
Parents and teachers can help students experiencing eyestrain by encouraging them to follow the 20-20-20 rule. When using technology, take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and view an object 20 feet away. Studies show your eyes need rest to stay moist. Staring off into the middle distance also helps eyes from locking into a close-up position.
The AOA offers the following guidelines to help prevent or reduce vision problems associated with computer use:
- Check the height and arrangement of the computer. According to optometrists, a computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen, and placed 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes.
- Check for glare on the screen. If possible, windows or other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of the monitor. If this happens, turn the desk or computer to prevent glare.
- Reduce room light to match computer screen. A low-watt light is preferable to a bright overhead light.
- Keep blinking. To minimize the chances of developing dry eye when using a computer, remember to blink frequently. This keeps the eyes moist.
Remember, should your child develop vision problems, have him diagnosed accurately by an eye care professional
Does My Child Have a Learning Disability?
I suspect my child may have a learning disability. How can I confirm this?
First of all, keep in mind that children with learning disabilities usually have normal IQs; their problem lies in how their brains process and use information. They could have an auditory processing, visual perception, communication, or other disorder. There is no one description that describes all children with learning disabilities.
If you suspect your child could have a learning disability, learn what you can about what learning disabilities are. Two helpful sites are LDonline at ldonline.org and the National Center for Learning Disabilities at ncld.org.
Then, gather information about your child that makes you think he may have a learning disability. Observe him in the classroom. Take your concerns to your child’s teacher. If the teacher agrees, ask for a formal evaluation of your child. Should the teacher not agree, speak with the principal.
On the basis of this report, a decision will be made as to whether the school will professionally test your child for a learning disability. Once testing is completed, you’ll receive a copy of the results and a meeting will be scheduled to review the report. At this meeting, you will find out whether or not your son has a learning disability and if he qualifies for special education services.
Questions? Comments? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to the columnists’ website at dearteacher.com.