Long hours on smartphones may affect eyesight and neck

Alappuzha: With the lockdown over coronavirus outbreak, the majority of the people including youth and children are engaged in various entertainments using smartphones. But experts claim that excessive use of smartphones will lead to health problems related to eyes and neck.

When we continuously watch programmes on mobile, TV or computer for a long time, eyes will be strained. At the same time, spending hours on the mobile phone by bending neck will result in neck related diseases.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye is the most common problem found in people who are addicted to smartphones. Our eyes need moisture to function properly. Dry eye syndrome is a condition that results from a lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye.

People suffering from dry eye syndrome will have headache, redness on eyes and sensitivity to light. Slowly, tear production will be decreased due to the damaged tear gland.

Usually, a healthy person will blink his eyes for 16 times per minute. But excessive use of mobile phone will decrease the blink rate to below 8. Hence, it will decrease tear production.

Screen Time

Children below 2 years of age must not watch any screens including mobile phones and TV. Children above two years should be allowed to watch the screens for not exceeding 2 hours per day. Meanwhile, 4 hours to 5 hours is the prescribed time screen time for children above 8 years.

According to doctors, people above 8 years are spending time on various screens for 7 to 10 hours per day.

Online learning platforms

Some students will dedicate two to three hours for e-learning over mobile phones apart from their regular studies. This practice will increase the chances of eye diseases. Blue light which is harmful for eyes is emitted from mobile phone and TV screens. If necessary, anti-glare glasses and artificial tears can be used as per doctor’s prescription.

Avoid mobile phone use in dark rooms

Regular use of mobile phone in dark rooms during the night will damage our eyes.

“Those who are having vision problems must be careful while using mobile phones. They must give some rest for their eyes frequently,” said Dr CG Mini, a senior eye specialist consultant in Kottayam General Hospital.

Keep safe distance between eyes and phone

While reading a book, we must keep the book, 14 inches away from our eyes. But while using mobile phone, the distance between the device and eyes must be 16 inches.

Eye diseases affect 30-40 age group

“People belonging to 30 – 40 age group are largely affected by eye diseases due to excessive use of mobile phone, laptop and TV. With the lockdown, I have been receiving two to four calls from patients seeking medical care daily,” said eye specialist Dr Manoj Venugopal.

Dr. MP Saleem, an Orthopedic professor at Alappuzha Medical College said that apart from eye diseases, neck pain has become common among people addicted to mobile phones.

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