Computers and the Internet have drastically transformed the lives of billions of people around the world and as a result, we are looking at screens more today than ever before. Whether a television screen, our computers, our phones, our watches, or even our appliances, screens are everywhere. The long-term question is, what will this mean for our vision and optical health?
There is a growing body of evidence out there, but the jury is still out on what it will mean for us. A particularly dire study from the University of New South Wales suggests that around a billion people may be blind by 2050 and over 5 billion short-sighted. Those estimates are higher than we see in most literature, but an increase in eye related disorders or at least needing glasses is certainly possible. There are, however, some preventative steps that people can and should take. It really comes down to education about eye health.
One of the things that is recommended for kids is to take at least a couple hours every day to go outside and play with no phones, video games, etc. with them. Fresh air and natural light may be important in maintaining vision health and the break from the screens certainly is. Myopia is a growing concern in many communities and more and more children are being affected every day. It will take real behavioral change and education to make a public health push towards more healthy behavior when it comes to screen usage, something we often overlook and think of as innocuous behavior.
Aside from increasing outdoors time and limiting screen time, it is important to get regular eye exams from your optometrist and to give your eye doctor a summary of your health history so they can get a better picture of other things than may be impacting your optical health. It is also important to control the air quality in your house as well as wherever possible and to wear protective eye gear when you are in an area with poor air quality or with risks of eye injury. Even when you are at work and potentially forced to be on the computer to get your assignments done, try to take regular breaks of a few minutes every hour or look away from the screen and into the distance every now and then. This gives the eyes an ability to relax and keeps them from being continuously strained.
Author Bio: Tony Rollan provides consulting services to VSI (http://www.patternless.com/) and he is an author of many articles on all types of optical and ophthalmic equipment. Author talks about medicine, health, alternative healing, sport and healthy living.
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