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Avoiding Computer Vision Syndrome

The American Optometric Association (AOA) announced recommendations to help students avoid eye and related discomfort when using 3D and other digital devices in the classroom.

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Unedited press release follows:

High-Tech Classrooms & Eye Health: The American Optometric Association (AOA) Clears up the Confusion About the Impact of High-Tech Devices and Eye and Vision Care

ST. LOUIS–Classrooms around the country are becoming increasingly high-tech, and teachers are incorporating 3D imaging, digital devices and the latest computer applications into their daily curriculum.

3D Imaging
Three-dimensional imaging is one of the more exciting technologies to come into the classroom, allowing for virtual tours of museums or views from inside the human heart. But not everyone can see in 3D and some children experience problems. The AOA estimates anywhere from three to nine million people have problems with binocular vision prohibiting them from viewing 3D images.

CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome)
State-of-the-art computer labs are now mainstream at many schools allowing students to use laptops, tablets and other digital devices frequently throughout the school day.

Unfortunately, prolonged use of these technologies can cause eye strain, headaches, fatigue, burning or tired eyes, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. The AOA calls this condition computer vision syndrome (CVS).

CVS Guidelines
Students can avoid CVS by practicing the 20-20-20 rule. At least every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and view something 20 feet away. Studies show that people need to rest their eyes to keep them moist. Plus, staring off into the distance helps the eyes from locking into a close-up position. The AOA also recommends that students take a 15-minute break for every two hours spent on computers or other digital devices.

Early detection and treatment are key in correcting vision problems and helping students see clearly. Therefore yearly eye exams for students are imperative. To find an optometrist in your area, or for additional information on children’s vision or the importance of back-to-school eye exams, please visit and