How Abusing Screen Time Is Affecting Our Eyes

Not many folks know that the utilization (or abuse) of smartphones and tablets can cause various eye problems, especially among children who view on screens for long duration.

Dr Shahab Ul Hasan Siddiqui, who is an professor at Baqai Medical University and a consultant ophthalmologist, says within the past during a class of 30 students, hardly two or three kids wont to wear glasses. But the amount of youngsters with eyeglasses on has increased over time and its mainly due to their excessive screen time.

It is important to notice that adverse effects of screen time are mainly limited to tablets and mobile phones, because the distance between a TV screen and therefore the place it’s being viewed from acts as a buffer.
“Constant use of screens weakens kids’ eye sights and people who already wear glasses their number increases,” he clarifies. Dr Siddiqui says tons of oldsters come to me and say that the amount of their child’s glasses has increased rapidly but it doesn’t happen overnight. “It’s just that oldsters are unaware until the kid complaints of low vision once they are unable to look at whiteboards in their classrooms,” he adds.

Ophthalmologist Dr Harris Shahzad says that employing a handheld device excessively does cause ‘accommodation spasm’, which suggests the muscles within the eye that controls focus goes into spasm, that causes headaches and temporary visual disturbance.

“It also causes a myopic shift [an increase in negative power] in vision, meaning it might cause children to wish glasses before usual,” he explains.

Can mobile phones cause eye diseases?
The use of mobile or tablets in itself doesn’t cause any diseases, says Dr Shahzad, “but can cause the necessity for glasses and headaches thanks to spasm.”

Moreover, among the physical symptoms, watching your phone screen might cause the following:

Eye strain
Fatigue
Eye pain
Inflammation and eye dryness
In fact, its prolonged use also can trigger migraine and epilepsy.
Ten-year-old Fatima Khan* suddenly stopped blinking her eyes at college at some point . She had a blurry vision and therefore the school administration called her parents. “We took her to the hospital and were told that it had been first stage of epilepsy,” says Fatima’s mother, Shahnaz*.

The doctors told Shahnaz to prevent Fatima’s screen time for nearly two months. However, later, she was allowed screen time for less than 1.5 hours. “Fatima was on medication for 2 years and remains not allowed to use screens quite 1.5 hours each day ,” informs Shahnaz.

However, Dr Shahzad informs that Fatima probably had a predisposition to epilepsy and flashing lights caused it to surface. “That’s why there are warning messages in movies that mention it’s strobing/flashing lights and may trigger epilepsy,” he adds.

“Mobile phones and tablets have a protective screen that blocks UV rays so there’s no danger in using them,” says Dr Shahzad.

But Dr Siddiqui mentions that an extended screen time can strain our eye muscles. However, it’s important to notice that watching a bright smartphone screen within the dark doesn’t harm our eyes.

Dr Shahzad says it’s a myth that using mobile phones within the dark can affect our eyes. “There may be a video circulating on Facebook and various Whatsapp groups that it causes eye cancer. this is often completely untrue and there’s no scientific evidence to support that. If this was true, there would are a health advisory from the manufacturers,” he says.

Having said that, Dr Siddiqui also mentioned using mobile phones within the dark can disturb sleep patterns. “Our brain releases different hormones during the day and night. Therefore, once we use screen in the dark it gives stimulus to our brain that it’s day time and that’s why it disturbs our sleep pattern,” he adds.

To live a healthy life, moderation is vital as excessive use of anything including screens can harm us.

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