Excess Screen Time Cause Myopia in Young People

Our eyes are doing more work in terms of screen time than they ever have. The pandemic has closed us indoors to more hours of screen time for work and school. On average, normal screen time has increased by three folds to compensate for working from home and studying from home. Whether it is iPads, laptops, or smartphones, we’re looking at screens more than the real world around us, and that has become the reason for myopia to become more common. 

In this article, we learn more about myopia in young people, how excess screen time affects myopia in young people and teens, and how to better care for your eyes. 

Let’s get started! 

What is  Myopia?

Myopia or nearsightedness is the elongation of the eyes, to accommodate for the changed seeing habits, that cause the blurring of farther objects. It is more common than we think and has already gotten governments concerned in China and the United States. Simply put, myopia is the way your eyes adapt to watching near objects better, all at the cost of farsightedness. 

Myopia is one among four types of refractive errors. Myopia is nearsightedness that makes things that far away look blurry. Hyperopia is farsightedness which means that you have trouble reading and seeing things that are up-close. Astigmatism is a combination of both myopia and hyperopia that makes everything look blurred. And lastly, there is presbyopia which makes it difficult for middle-aged and older adults to see things up close. 

Among the four refractive errors, myopia is soon becoming the fastest-spreading one due to extreme changes in screen habits in a short time. 

Why is Myopia a Harmful Condition?

Myopia is a harmful condition because it is affecting the lives of young people who have a lifetime of viewing ahead of them. Once you’re affected with myopia, you most likely have to wear spectacles to be able to do basic tasks like driving. You will lose your upper hand in sporting activities due to the blurring of far objects which could then make you lose interest in the sport. 

In extreme cases, the elongation of the eye could also lead to blindness due to retinal detachment. You also are at an increased risk of glaucoma and cataract. For these reasons, it becomes important to deal with myopia immediately at the sign of the first symptoms. 

Why Does Myopia Affect More Young People & Teenagers?

The answer to this question has become quite apparent in the past couple of years. There has been a link between increased screen time and increased cases of myopia. Young people today are looking at screens for hours for work as well as school and there is no other option that they have. Additionally, they do not take the necessary precautions to negate the effects of this increased screen time. 

Recent studies have also shown this pattern of increased myopia in young people because of their increased screen time. 

myopia in young lady

What Is The Connection Between Computers, Mobile Phones & Myopia?

The connection between computers, mobile phones and myopia is a prevalent one and not a good one. There is going around the fact that computers and other screens are how the world is working today and will continue to do so. Our eyes are trying their best to catch up to the increased requirements and all is not perfect because a repercussion of this fast adapting is myopia.  

To be more specific, a normal eye is circular like an orange to be able to optimally deflect light for near as well as far vision. With screens, the eyes get elongated similar to the shape of a grape to over-optimize for near vision which causes the blurring when you’re looking at far objects. 

Other Excess Screen Time Consequences Causing Eye Damage

Myopia is not the only consequence of excess screen time. Here are some of the others – 

  • Severe Eye Pain
    • Individuals could also experience severe eye pain and strain due to the elongation of the eye. It begins with some discomfort but gets worse with time. You might want to consult an ophthalmologist immediately. 
  • Dryness
    • When you focus on screens, the eye automatically blinks less so the moisture tends to fade away giving you dreyer eyes. 
  • Dark Circles
    • An aesthetic component to this is dark circles – you might experience them more after long hours of screen time. So, it doesn’t just affect your sight but also how you look. 

How To Identify Myopia Early With Symptoms?

There are four major early symptoms of myopia you need to look out for. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to immediately consult an eye specialist near you. 

  • Your vision is blurred when you’re looking at distant objects. 
  • There are constant headaches when you’re on the screen for school or work. 
  • You are squinting constantly to be able to view things clearly. 
  •  Eye strain that relaxes when you close your eyes for a bit. 

How To Prevent Eye Strain From Mobile/Computer Screens?

  • Make an effort to consciously reduce your screen time at work and school. You could divide your time into focus periods where you’re finishing your work in bursts instead of hour-long screen stares. 
  • Reduce the blue light on your screens with the “night light” feature that reduces the blue light that causes your eyes to dry up soon. You will compromise on the viewing experience but it will help your eyes in the long term. 
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule that says that every 20 minutes of screen time, you need to look at a distance of 20 meters for about 20 seconds. This relaxes your eyes enough to focus for the next 20 seconds. 
  • Get yourself an eye check-up to see if you are showing signs of myopia. If found early, there can be plenty that can be done to restore your eyes to their perfect shape. Glasses that filter blue light can be a game-changer. 

How Can a Good Eye Specialist Help Save Your Eyes? 

Allevia Medical Center’s ophthalmology department has the best ophthalmologist in Qatar who have experience in dealing with every kind of issue a person could have with their eyes. Not only is the diagnosis perfect each time, but it is also quick because of the state-of-the-art facilities available to you. It starts with thorough testing of your eyes and the best possible way for you to get back your perfect 20-20 vision. 

Conclusion

Now that you know what myopia is and how excess screen time can cause you discomfort, consider following all the best practices to save your perfect vision. Allevia Medical Center Qatar is always looking out for your better health and you can subscribe to this blog to get more such important health-related information.

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