Be smart about your smartphone

VITAL SIGNS

Be smart about your smartphone

Smartphones and computers have become an indispensable part of our lives, and their frequent usage has resulted in several eye-related disorders. The most common problems include tiredness, soreness, itching, dryness of eyes, and other eyesight-related issues.

Dry eyes is a condition where there is a decreased secretion of tears from the eyes. This leads to irritable eyes, with redness and a burning, gritty sensation. It is usually associated with menopause and is common in elderly people as well. This condition is now prevalent among youngsters due to the excessive use of tablets and smartphones. The close proximity to the screen and the low rate of blinking are the primary causes of the condition. Research has found that blinking renews the tear film over the eyes and avoids excessive evaporation, thus preventing irritation caused by drying of eyes.

In 2014, a report by Vision Council, a non-profit organisation of the optical industry, stated that spending more than two hours on an electronic display device may lead to headaches, eye strain, physical discomfort and irritability.

According to doctors, one must blink adequately while working on computers for long hours. Avoid keeping electronic devices too close to your eyes. One must consume foods that are rich in carotenoids such as carrots, pumpkins and green leafy vegetables. Adequate sleep is also beneficial for eye health.

Go for regular eye check-ups and wear protective glasses to filter out the blue light that is harmful to the eyes. While using smart phones and tablets follow the 20-20-20 rule, where you work for 20 minutes and take a 20 second break to look at a distant object 20 feet away.

(The author is a faculty member at Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, KVC Campus, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Vijayawada.)

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