PPG Newsletter Issue No. 45

March 4, 2020

PPG Community Events Update

By Dr. Jessica Xu

PPG is in urgent need of volunteers, so volunteer and make a positive change for your child. We sincerely thank all current and past volunteers for their selfless contribution. We are seeking six volunteers with experienced leadership skills to join our executive team: President, Treasurer, VP of Fundraising, VP of Legal Affairs, Project Lead for Public Oversight of PUSD Financials, and Project Lead for Supporting Spanish Initiative. If interested, email​info@pusdparents.org​. Please include relevant experience, your goals for the position and mark the subject line accordingly.

March and April 2020 is PPG’s sixth annual Keep Myopia Away in Digital Age public health campaign. Remind your kids the importance of having good visual hygiene!

Safe and Creative Personalized Education (XXI)

Computer Vision Syndrome: A digital Age Epidemic 

By Dr. Jessica Xu

Many people experience higher visual stress when doing intensive near-work at digital screens, a health problem called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Symptoms of CVS include eyestrain, headaches, ocular discomfort, eye pain, dry eye, double vision, blurred vision and photophobia.

CVS has been known among computer professionals for several decades. It not only affects their health, but also their job performance. European Union and Australia have passed laws in occupational health to protect workers using electronic/digital screens regularly.

As digital devices become prevalent in our daily lives, CVS now affects the general population. About 90% of computer users experience CVS at various severities. Some users suffer only minor eyestrain, some have only dry eyes, while others experience much more severe symptoms and vision deterioration. Eyestrain, headache, nausea and eye pain usually disappear in several hours to several days after stopping using computers. However, dry eye, photophobia and blurred vision may take several days to months to recover after stopping using computers.

In many cases blurred distance vision do not recover and the person becomes myopic, commonly known as nearsighted. The problem is particularly common among children and young adults. With prevalence of digital devices, school myopia has surged among children and young adults in recent decades.

Dry eye can stay for a prolonged time as well. It was rare for children to have dry eyes before the digital device boom. Now pediatric optometrists notice increasing incidences of dry eye among children.

As schools adopt more and more educational technology, CVS becomes a very common health problem among school children. The trend is so difficult to reverse that it is predicted that a large population will have poor vision in near future.

The good news is that using educational technology in PUSD is optional. Parents can choose the more eye-friendly paper option in schools for their children, at least to prevent their children’s vision from sharp deterioration at a young age. For children with severe CVS, parents can apply for 504 plan for their children until their eyes become strong enough for intensive near-distance digital screen work. And, it is always helpful to encourage kids to minimize their screen time.

Our children’s eyes are precious. Let’s take good care of them.

About the author

Dr. Jing (Jessica) Xu is mother of two PUSD students. Active in the community, she has served on many community organization boards, including Yale Club of San Diego, PUSD Educational Technology Advisory Committee, Rancho Penasquitos Town Council, and PUSD Parents Group. Professionally, Dr. Xu is a consultant focusing on biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Xu also provides one-on-one consultation on personalized healthy visual behavior for newly myopic children to help them regain and sustain normal vision.

www.pusdparents.org

PUSD Parents Group (PPG) is a fast emerging nonprofit organization that seriously loves our Poway Unified School District (PUSD) and our community. We welcome all PUSD stakeholders within our community. Our mission is to strengthen the voice of our community. Our efforts are aimed at those who make change happen: PUSD parents, students, teachers and taxpayers. We highly value fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency and all things that will demonstrate PUSD honesty and reliable communication with the community.