Digital Eye Strain

Does your child ever complain of headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, or eyestrain after spending hours on the computer? These are some of the symptoms associated with Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Students who spend two or more continuous hours on a computer or iPad are at the greatest risk for vision-related problems.

Viewing a digital screen is different than reading a book or printed page. The eyes have to work harder because the letters on the computer often are not as precise or sharply defined, the level of contrast of the letters to the background is lessened, and the presence of glare may make viewing difficult.

The American Optometric Association reminds us to follow the 20-20-20 rule to help alleviate digital eyestrain or CVS. The 20-20-20 rule—take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Preventing symptoms of CVS include:
● Computer Positioning: Place the computer screen about 4 or 5 inches below eye level from the center of the screen and 20-28 inches from the eyes.
● Lighting: Position the screen to avoid glare, especially from windows or bright lights.
● Anti-glare screen: A screen glare filter can decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
● Seating position: Your feet should rest flat on the floor and your wrists shouldn’t rest on the keyboard when typing. Armrests should be adjusted to provide arm support while you are typing.
● Rest breaks: It is recommended that you rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use. Also, for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow your eyes a chance to refocus.
● Blinking: Make an effort to blink frequently to prevent dry eyes. With each blink of the
eyelids, tears spread across the front surface of the eye providing lubrication.

We hope your children are enjoying the remote learning activities. We are aware that extra viewing hours and screen time on computers, iPads, as well as cell phones can put an extra strain on our eyes. We hope that the above suggestions will be helpful to prevent any eye discomfort or vision problems associated with prolonged screen use your children may have while studying and working online during the school day.


District 28 Health Offices

correct posture for computer work

Reference: American Optometric Association (n.d.). Computer vision syndrome. Retrieved from

Reference: American Optometric Association (n.d.). Computer vision syndrome. Retrieved from