“Eye problems in children on a rise due to excessive device use”


October 10, 2023


“Eye problems in children on a rise due to excessive device use”

KATHMANDU: In this digital era, technological advancements continue to surge, with mobiles, computers, laptops, televisions, and tablets becoming ubiquitous.

The widespread accessibility of the internet has made these devices indispensable for people of all ages, from children to the elderly.

However, experts warn that excessive screen time affects individuals of all ages, with a significant impact on children’s eye health.

Many young children are now seen wearing glasses, a trend exacerbated by the early introduction of mobile phones and laptops into their lives.

In an interview, senior ophthalmologist Dr. Indu Prasad Dhungel discusses the consequences of this digital revolution on children’s eye health. Excerpts:

What is the effect of giving many mobile phones and laptops to young children?

Nowadays, young children are increasingly reliant on devices such as mobile phones, especially for online classes.

It’s become common for them to wake up and immediately engage with their mobiles, laptops, or computers.

The use of modern gadgets like video games and computers has led to eye damage in children.

We’ve seen a surge in cases at eye hospitals related to this issue.

It’s crucial to have children’s eyes examined before they start school because their visual acuity is still developing, and excessive device use during this critical period can have a lasting impact.

Wearing glasses for minor issues is acceptable, but prolonged online activity can cause redness and itching in a child’s eyes.

If left unaddressed, this can lead to misalignment or other eye problems.

Does the use of digital devices cause the same symptoms in all children?

The symptoms can vary from child to child. To assess the impact of digital device use, it’s essential to monitor the child’s vision and provide glasses to those who extensively use mobile phones and computers.

Parents should prioritize their children’s eye health and encourage them to spend time outdoors, limiting their exposure to screens within closed rooms.

If children’s eyes are not treated at the time, what are the risks later?

Regular eye examinations should begin as early as nursery school to detect any issues.

If a child experiences itchiness and redness in their eyes, it can affect their ability to focus on reading and lead to greater eye strain.

Untreated eye problems during childhood may result in long-term issues, including eye misalignment.

Therefore, children between the ages of 5 and 15 should undergo yearly vision checks.

How does it affect a child who cannot go to school looking at a mobile phone?

Watching TV or using a mobile phone won’t necessarily lead to blindness, but it can cause symptoms like redness, excessive tearing, and discomfort in the eyes, especially in children.

If left untreated, these issues can persist into adolescence and adulthood, potentially causing permanent vision impairment.

How does it affect people who use computers for a long time?

Extended computer usage without proper ergonomics can lead to sore, red, and watery eyes.

It’s crucial to have regular eye exams, maintain proper monitor height and lighting, take breaks every 20 minutes, and stay hydrated.

Some individuals may also require specialized computer glasses.

What should you pay attention to so that there is no problem in the eyes?

Children should undergo routine vision checks, and if vision is impaired, glasses should be prescribed.

This is especially important in the early years.

Avoid eye injuries, and for those above 45 years, yearly eye check-ups are recommended.

A balanced diet rich in green vegetables, outdoor activities, and refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are essential for overall eye care. Always prioritize your eye health.