The Eyes Have It

Digital devices might be harming your eyes.

How much time do you spend looking at a computer screen or your mobile device? A recent study conducted by Visionworks revealed that 82 percent of Americans use these devices every day and the average worker spends seven hours on their computer.

Zach Hillstrom of the Pueblo Chieftain reports that this increasing use of digital devices is a concern to the professionals caring for our eyes. In fact, the American Optometric Association thinks it is so important, they've designated the month of March as Save Your Vision Month. There are a host of problems that can arise from digital eye strain, often known as computer vision syndrome, ranging from headaches and blurred vision to dry eyes or even retinal damage. March may have passed, but the need to take care of our eyes continues to be important.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Topics/Activities
  1. Poll the class to see if any of them have experienced vision problems as a result of their usage of digital devices. Are students aware of the potential vision problems too much screen time can cause? Review the steps outlined in the article that can help minimize the impact on our eyes.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should research a specific vision problem that can be attributed to digital eye strain. What are the causes? What symptoms might a digital device user experience? What types of treatment options are available? What is the prognosis for someone that develops this problem? How might the situation have been avoided? Students should create a presentation to share their information with the class.
  3. As an individual assignment, have students create informational posters to be displayed in the classroom or around campus (with appropriate permission) to raise awareness of Computer Vision Syndrome and how it can be prevented.

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