By Dr. Inenyo Esinte.
The use of diverse brands of smartphones and other related electronic devices has become part of modern lifestyle and their application across various aspects of human existence. Man has become almost dependent on smart electronic devices.
Though the place of smart electronic devices in making life less stressful. Despite the varying application of smart electronic devices such as smartphones, TVs, Computers, and other related smart electronic devices in business, journalism, politics, and more, the unregulated personal usage of smartphones and other related electronic devices poses some health risks to users, thus it is important for everyone who uses a smartphone to be aware of the related health risk, effects and take proactive practical steps to prevent them and stay healthy while using their smartphones or electronic devices.
WHAT IS DIGITAL EYE STRAIN (COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME)?
Digital Eye Strain, a.k.a Computer Vision Syndrome, is a group of symptoms caused by long-term and intense visual focusing on digital screens over a period of time.
Some of the symptoms of Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome are:
Most symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (Computer Vision Syndrome) cause temporary changes to the Eyes, however, symptoms can increase or continue without proper preventive measures and treatment, thus causing a reduction in visual abilities over time.
HOW SMARTPHONES CAUSE EYE DAMAGE:
Prolonged exposure to blue light from smartphones and other related electronic devices harms vision and eye health by damaging the retina(the photosensitive part of the human Eyes). The retina, located in the back of the eye, is crucial for converting light into signals. Those signals are what our brain interprets and understands as vision of the objects or things our Eyes can see.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR EYES:
Moderation, self-discipline, and personal regulation on the use of smartphones and other related electronic devices are key in preventing the harmful effects and possible subsequent visual damage.
The following preventive tips may help protect your eyes and prevent smartphone or devices induced visual or Eyes impairment.
1. SCREEN POSITION AND DISTANCE:
When using your smartphones, your screen should be an arm’s length away from your eyes and positioned 20 degrees below your Eye level to protect your Eyes.
2. UTILIZE AND TURN ON THE “EYE CARE” ICON ON YOUR SMARTPHONES:
Most users of smart are probably not aware there’s an inbuilt Eye care or protection app on their phones.
Depending on the design of your phone, but in most smartphones, scroll or roll down the home screen (where you see the network, Bluetooth, Hotspot, Location, and Airplane mode icons) and scroll to your right where you will see the “EYE CARE” icon, kindly click on it, to turn it on and protect your Eyes while using your smartphones.
3. APPLY THE 20-20-20 RULE:
The 20-20-20 rule is a simple personal reminder to take breaks from or interrupt screen time. For every 20 minutes of screen time, you should take a 20-second break and look at an object 20 feet away about approximately 6 meters away from you to protect and keep your Eyes safe.
The Eye Care app also comes inbuilt in most smart devices such as TVs and Computers.
Kindly regulate the light source from your device to match that of your surroundings or the environment where the device is being used.
4. TAKE TIME TO VISIT AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST (SPECIALIST EYE DOCTOR):
In the event that you are experiencing repeated symptoms of Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome, with likely visual effects or impairments, kindly go to the Hospital and seek the services of an Ophthalmologist( a specialist Eye Doctor) for timely and specific treatment to prevent permanent or long-term visual damage or impairment.
5. USE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:
The timely and proper use of personal protective equipment such as Eye shades and photo reflective Glasses in occupational settings exposed to prolonged blue light exposure from screens is strongly advocated to prevent long-term visual impairment.