Consultancy Corner: Serious eye problems behind digital screen viewing

These days, students are not serious about the eye problems that occur by continuously staring at computer screens and mobile phones for hours together. They have an excuse for it saying that most of their learning is now online and they need to submit their project by working on the internet.
Consultancy Corner: Serious eye problems behind digital screen viewing
Dr Kaladevi Sathish, Zonal Head - Clinical Services, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals

Chennai

Technology is not to be blamed for this. Instead, the duration of usage by students which causes real strain and discomfort to their eyes leads to various eye related problems.

Many researchers conclude that between 50 to 90 per cent of people who work like this, especially students have eye issues. The reason behind this is that students spend more time staring at lighted screens including computers, tabs, pads and mobile phones browsing social media, online gaming and watching videos. In such cases, the eye issues should not be ignored and it is important to pay immediate attention to eye health.

Common eye problems

Eye strain: It is mainly caused due to direct and continuous eye exposure with devices and most often in less than ideal lighting and ergonomic environments. Eye strain can cause eyes to be dry, itchy and burning with redness or irritation. It may also lead to blurry vision, light sensitivity and difficulty in focus. Apart from that, they may experience headache, neck, shoulder or back aches and even sleep issues with overall fatigue.

Computer vision syndrome: This eye issue is like Carpal tunnel syndrome. The issue arises when eyes follow the same path over and over for a long time. While working with computers, eyes get focused on the screen all the time. Also eyes react constantly to the changing images resulting in a lot of strain on eye muscles. 

Even the screen on which they watch can causes problems to their eyes.  Using gadgets constantly can make the natural lens less flexible.

It is proven that if one fails to blink normally while viewing a digital screen, their eyes would dry out and blur the vision periodically while working.

Complications with Improper digital viewing

Improper digital screen viewing can lead to exposure to blue light that in turn creates retinal problems, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and sleep disorders.

Treatment 

Eye strain and dry eyes need to be consulted with an ophthalmologist. Wearing recommended glasses can reduce strain and headache.
Prevention
  • Optimise screen settings by increasing brightness and font size 
  • Take regular breaks. Try looking up 20 feet away, every 20 minutes for 20 seconds
  • Practice closing and opening of eyes to keep them moist and refreshed 
  • Massage the eyes to relax them in a natural method
  • To reduce risk of body pain, move you limbs to reduce tension and muscle fatigue

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