Tips to avoid harmful effects of computer and smartphone screens on your eyes


Computer screens have always been the proverbial double-edged swords where on the one hand they help us with all sorts of activities from business to entertainment, from health consultations to online courses, from stocks and finance to online shopping, while on the other hand, they have a major role in creating health issues, especially for the eyes.
It was alright till the time computers were lying in one room and we could access them only when we would wind up with our day & spend some time but today computer screens are before our eyes almost throughout our awake time in the form of mobiles, tabs, laptops, office screens and even watches and the effect it creates has not only become stronger but also longer & all to the detriment of the users eyes. Our digital devices are a sight for sore eyes, literally. If you're one of those people who glances at their digital devices more than 7 hours in a day, chances are your eyes are paying the price for your screen addiction as staring at your digital screens for too long can lead to tired, itchy, dry eyes and even blurred vision & headaches. Com-puter Vision Syndrome (CVS) ranges from mild to severe and involves eye redness, dryness, grittiness, tiredness along with headaches, sleepiness, eye pain, shoulder and back pain and blurring of vision for both near and distance. This leads to decre-ased productivity and non-resolving symptoms in the affected person.
In an interview, Dr Anuradha Ghorpade, Consultant Ophthalm-ologist at Connect and Heal, revealed, “In children, especially those who spend a long time on the mobile phone playing games, along with the effect it has on memory and logical thinking, screen time increases the chances of inducing high refractive errors (high power glasses) which in the long run have their own problems and complications. Also due to constant eye rubbing due to tiredness, there are high chances of eye infections including styes and conjunctivitis which can also spread to others due physical contact with the touched hands.”
She pointed out, “In some people, especially the old with less space in their eyes (narrow angles) constant near work can precipitate an attack of acute glaucoma which presents as severe pain, redness and blurring of the vision.
It is an emergency and may require admission and laser treatment. Some people also suffer from dark circles and wrinkles around their eyes not only due to lack of sleep but probably also because of the blue light of the computer screens. Blue light is also known to affect sleep patterns and cause retinal issues in the long run. This may include age-related retinal changes and central vision issues.”
According to Dr Anur-adha Ghorpade, of all these problems, dryness of eyes & spectacle dependence are the two most common problems. She said, “Dryness can cause constant gritty sensation, blurring due to dry spots and intermittent watering. Contact lenses increa-se the dryness even more & is not recommended for computer users.
Spectacle power keeps changing in young users while in old it shows fluctuations which cause intermittent blurring. Therefore it is recommended to reduce the screen time to the minimum possible & as much as is utmost necessary.”
She suggested, “Also, get your eyes checked by an eye specialist in case of any doubt. The diagnosis of dry eyes and related disorders can be made only in a clinic with various tests and equipments that are available there like OSDI questionnaire, Schirmer's test, tear break up time and Fluorescein staining. Once the diagnosis is made treatment can be initiated in the form of eyedrops, eye gels and tablets.” Along with this, she recommended the following precautions which should be followed:
Use anti-reflective glasses or screens
Keep the computer at 45 degree lower angle
Blink the eye frequently
Use eye moisturising eye drops during and after screen time
Eat lots of fresh green and red/ orange vegetables and fruits
Follow the 20-20-20 rule which means every 20 minutes look at a distance of 20 metres for 20 seconds to give break to the eye muscles & the eye surface
- Do not sit before the AC directly
- Sleep for 7-8 hours and drink 2-3 litres of water every day
- Go out in the sunlight frequently especially for children as it has shown to reduce the chances of glass progression
- Limit mobile phones use in children to the minimum possible for the overall development of the child, and engage the child in alternate activities instead of scolding.
Dr Rashmi Shukla, Consultant Ophtha-lmologist (Cataract, Cornea and Anterior Segment Specialist) at Mahim's PD Hinduja Hospital & MRC, advised, “For people who spend a lot of time on a computer, it is recommended to use a larger screen.
The screen should be placed at least 65 cm away and slightly below eye level. Use anti-glare mode on laptop/mobile screens. Position the screen such that light from natural or artificial source does not fall directly on the screen or your eye.
Light from screen should neither be too bright nor too dull.
Get your prescription glasses made with anti-reflective/anti-glare coating. Blink frequently while working on screen and take frequent breaks from screen to focus on objects at a distance. Use a cool mist humidifier to change dry air quality and keep well hydrated.”

Share This Story

Comment On This Story


Photo Gallery

BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty