Tips for Distance Learning & Excess Computer Usage

With most everyone either working from home or attending school through distance learning, people are using computers and digital technology more than ever. While this provides a lot of opportunities, it also brings many challenges. Our eyes are not designed to be focused on a computer screen for hours at a time.

Children (and adults) with eye movement, tracking and eye coordination problems may have difficulty understanding the information presented with these devices. But, because children do not always know how they are supposed to see, their underlying vision problems can remain undetected and unreported. As a result, in many cases these vision problems are mistaken for attention and learning problems.

Signs that you or your loved one has been looking at the computer too long, or just has difficulty looking at a computer screen include: eyes feel strained and tired (especially after working on the computer, tablet or other digital device), dry eyes, headaches, sensitivity to light, neck pain, blurred vision, loss of productivity, and decreased vision at night. In addition, some children might even avoid doing schoolwork on the computer, even though they might enjoy playing video games for hours.

One of the causes of visual stress is the working distance required to use the variety of digital devices. Our doctors can prescribe special lenses designed to help reduce the strain. Be sure to let us know the actual distance from your eyes to your computer monitor when you come in for your appointment.

If it is possible reduce your time on digital devices and computers and apply the 20-20-20 rule:
• take a break every 20 minutes and…

• look 20 feet away for

• 20 seconds

The easiest way to implement this is to set a timer when you sit down to work on a computer or digital device.

If you or your child experience two or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, or you feel your child may be backsliding since the last vision therapy session, please give us a call so we can help you sort out your best plan of action.


A new study shows that students learn more effectively from print textbooks than screens, according to studies performed at the University of Maryland that were published in The Journal of Experimental Education.
While students overwhelmingly preferred digital text over paper and felt that their reading was significantly faster online, they misjudged that their comprehension was better online than in print. The study clearly found that comprehension was significantly better when the student read a paper text.

If the student was reading for general understanding like grasping the main idea, and details were not critical, digital was OK. However, comprehension was significantly improved when reading printed texts. Therefore, during this unprecedented time of distance learning, it would be a good idea to print any reading assignments for your children as much as possible, so they are not staring at the computer or digital device so much throughout the day.

As a reminder, there is a great article on WebMD about vision problems that interfere with a child’s ability to read and learn.

Click Here For a Link To That Article! (

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