Does Computer Use Make Keratoconus Worse?
There is no clear evidence that computer use or using other digital devices such as tablets, e-readers and smart phones will cause keratoconus to worsen.
However, excessive use of electronic devices with digital displays can sometimes cause dry eyes. Many people with dry eyes tend to rub their eyes, and this eye rubbing could potentially cause keratoconus to progress.
To be safe (even if you don't have keratoconus), avoid eye rubbing during or after computer use. Also, take frequent breaks to avoid computer eye strain and use artificial tears if your eyes begin to feel dry when spending significant time in front of a computer screen or using digital devices.
Also, be aware that while current research has not shown that computer use makes keratoconus worse, a number of studies have found an association between computer use and myopia and myopia progression, particularly among children. Ask your eye doctor what can be done to reduce your child's risk of becoming nearsighted (or more nearsighted year after year).
Notes and References
The association between near work activities and myopia in children — a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. October 2015.
The impact of computer use in myopia progression: a cohort study in Spain. Preventative Medicine. February 2015.
Page updated January 2018