Increased screen time in the past one-and-half-year due to the pandemic has given rise to multiple eye problems primarily dry eyes, say doctors.
Sharing details of the issues faced by students using computer for online classes, Dr Arum Sharma, ophthalmology department, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) said, “Students who wear specs have greater chance of facing eye problem such as dry eyes while those not using specs or not having any eye problem too suffer with the problem. So, the risk is there with both the groups.”
“Students regular on online classes should make sure they look away and blink eyes for a few seconds after at least every half-an-hour,” he advised.
Moreover, doctors say the habit of watching movies or shows on cell phones during night has gone up particularly after switching off the lights and during such sessions the body posture remains relaxed but incorrect. “The screen should be at chest level and not at the level of the eyes,” said Dr Sharma, head of the community eye bank at KGMU.
“Not just children or young but even elderly people have started using smartphones to kill lockdown boredom and excessive use of screen has resulted in eye problem. Many older people got the number for their specs revised as their vision got disturbed due to cell phones,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, Association of International Doctors.
Dr Shobhit Chawla, medical director and chief vitreoretinal consultant at Prakash Netra Kendra, Lucknow, said, “China and India together account for 49% of the world’s total burden of blindness and vision impairment with vision loss. In my clinical observation, we see about 30-35% retinal disease patients, 15% glaucoma patients and 50% cataract patients in a month. The key across all three conditions is timely diagnosis and treatment. Without timely treatment, the condition is allowed to progress and can result in irreversible vision loss.”
“In the out-patient department (OPD), number of patients coming with problems like dry eyes has gone up,” said Dr Siddharth of the department of ophthalmology at KGMU.
World Sight Day-2021, to be celebrated on Thursday (October 14), marks an opportunity to raise awareness about retinal diseases. Early detection is vital to prevent vision loss. There are various treatment options available that can limit disease progression and consulting an ophthalmologist is a key step to understanding options that can be beneficial.
Tips for keeping eyes safe
*Give the eyes break at every half-an-hour when watching screen continuously
*Keep laptop or mobile preferably at the chest level
*Get eyes checked every year if wearing specs
*Even if no problem, one should get eyes checked once if using screen for long
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