Kezun kez, B. Optometry
Fellow Optometrist, Dr. Shroff Charity Eye Hospital, Delhi, India
Technology is an amazing thing. It has had a huge impact in our life. It seems like everyday new pieces of technology are being released that people are buzzing about. The whole world has transformed rapidly with its introduction and advancement. It has made life even easier, cheaper, and smoother as it helps us to connect with families and friends everywhere we go at any point of time. During the average day, we are compelled to use multiple digital devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, and computers. It almost seems impossible to avoid them as they literally surround us. Infact over a third of adults spend almost half of their day using technology and some have admitted that they spent around 10 – 11 hours in technology. Adults aren’t the only ones who are exposed to these technologies, kids are more involved in devices and other forms of technology at home and in the classroom too.
Its effect on the human eye:
With all these constant exposure to technology, have we ever thought about the effect it has on our human body especially the most vital organ called “EYE”. Today, it is very normal for us to bring smartphones and other devices in bed. We set an alarm clock using a mobile phone rather than a classic alarm clock. However, this direct exposure to bluelight which are emitted by LED devices can cause very harmful damages to our retina. Excessive exposure to blue light-imposed risk of Macular degeneration as studies suggested. Blue light does cause “dry eye” as well (Excessive tearing in the eye).
Digital eye strain:
This means your eyes when used too much for near work that Includes working hours on Computer, gaming on mobile phones causes eye muscle fatigue with shoulder pain, irritation and burning sensation.(1) A person may experience diplopia, watering due to less blinking.(2)
Effects on children:
Children are very much exposed to technology now a days. Everywhere you can see a kids (may be even 1-2 years old) holding tablets, mobile phones, watching cartoons half a day daily. A serious issues to be noted by parents and elder siblings. The reason is from the moment a child is born, there is a rapid changes that’s occurring within their body including the eyes. The brain adjust everything according to what an eyes see. So when a child is still growing and exposed to these technologies, their eyes and brain connection developed in such a way that they function well only for near and distance vision become blurry for them.(3,4) This very term is called “CHILDHOOD MYOPIA”. The Complication includes : Amblyopia, poor learning, depression, anxiety, headache.
Take away notes:
- Yearly eye-exam from your Eye Doc
- Wear a dark Face shield or Dark Goggles while doing some welding work and on a sunny day, a transparent protective Goggles while doing carpentry work.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes too much as it may induce a condition called “KERATOCONUS”
- Eat foods which contain high omega 3- fatty acid, vitamin-C such as Green leafy vegetables, carrots, Fishes, pineapple etc.
- Use 20 -20 -20 rules for computer use.
- Alabdulkader B. Effect of digital device use during COVID-19 on digital eye strain. Clinical and Experimental Optometry. 2021 Aug 18;104(6):698-704.
- Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JS. Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration. BMJ open ophthalmology. 2018 Apr 1;3(1):e000146.
- Wu PC, Chen CT, Lin KK, Sun CC, Kuo CN, Huang HM, Poon YC, Yang ML, Chen CY, Huang JC, Wu PC. Myopia prevention and outdoor light intensity in a school-based cluster randomized trial. Ophthalmology. 2018 Aug 1;125(8):1239-50.
- Wu PC, Tsai CL, Wu HL, Yang YH, Kuo HK. Outdoor activity during class recess reduces myopia onset and progression in school children. Ophthalmology. 2013 May 1;120(5):1080-5.