Prevention of Blindness Week: Using gadgets for too long can damage your eyes

We are heavily dependent on gadgets, which can damage eyes. Find out how gadgets can affect your eyes. With Prevention of Blindness Week here, you need to focus on your eye health more.
Damaging effects of gadgets on eyes. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 4 Apr 2023, 19:38 pm IST

Does your day begin with checking emails or reading news online? Do you end your day by watching a movie after spending the whole day in front of your laptop? Well, these are all bad habits that clearly show that you are totally dependent on gadgets. They might make your work easier or provide entertainment, but excessive use of gadgets can harm your eyes. As awareness is raised about blindness on the occasion of Prevention of Blindness Week from April 1 to 7, know how gadgets affect your eye health.

HealthShots connected with Dr Aarti Nangia, Senior Consultant,
Ophthalmology, The Sight Avenue, Delhi, to know about eye health and gadgets.

Using gadgets for long can damage your eyes. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Gadgets affect eye health

Be it mobile, laptop, TV or any other digital screen, most of our time is spent on gadgets. Here’s what can happen if your eyes are exposed to gadgets or digital screens for long as per the expert:

• The blue light of the digital screen acts as scattered light which interferes with your vision.
• Due to staring at the screen for long, the number of times you blink is reduced, causing dryness in eyes.
• You can develop computer vision syndrome, so you will not only have dry eyes, but also itchy and red eyes. According to BMJ Open Ophthalmology journal, estimates suggest that its prevalence may be 50 percent or even more among people who regularly use computers.
• People who wear contact lenses, already have dry eyes. Looking at screen for long will only worsen it.

Gadgets can make eyes blurry

If you use digital screen for long hours without taking a break, your eyes can get blurry. That’s because your muscles overwork on concentrating on what you are seeing. It causes spasm or fatigue. Ultimately, making your vision blurry. As the blink rate reduces, dryness takes over. If there is very strong flash light, it can make the rays diffract. It is quite annoying for eyes and can cause blurring. If you have a small refractive error, especially myopia, it will cause spasm of your ciliary muscle. The expert says that refractive errors can lead to squeezing of eyes and trying to focus and so, they cause blurring.

Ways you can use gadgets without hurting your eyes

Today, we are all dependent on digital screens to do our work or for entertainment, so you can’t just ignore them.

Your eyes can get blurry if you keep your screens close to you for long. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Here’s what you can do:

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1. Follow a 20-20-20 rule

After every 20 minutes, leave your display screen, close your eyes for 20 seconds and keep the display screen 20 feet away, suggests Dr Nangia.

2. Wear correct glasses

If you have a small refractive error, wear correct glasses for better eye health. You should especially wear them when you are looking at a screen.

3. Use lubrication drops

Your eyes can dry up while you are working on a computer. So, use lubrication drops during your break time. Also, hydrate yourself by having adequate amount of water to avoid dryness.

4. Have blue filter powered glasses

Blue light gets scattered from the digital screens, so go for blue filter powered glasses, suggests the expert.

5. Maintain distance from screens

Eye strain can happen if you keep your eyes near the screens for long. So, do not keep your digital screen close to your eyes.

6. Turn off devices before sleeping

An hour before you go to sleep, turn off all your digital screens. This will not only make your eyes healthy, but will also help to make you sleep better.

Keep this tips in mind this Blindness prevention week to protect your eye health and avoid severe problems like blindness.

About the Author
Natalia Ningthoujam

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle- as a journalist in her nearly 13-year long career. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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