Because of virtual education, work from home, video conferences, online entertainment, and video chatting with friends and family, the Covid-related pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in our screen time. The duration of time spent by an individual in activities that involve peering at a digital screen gets referred to as “screen time.” This pandemic has spawned a new pandemic of eye-related problems.
In the light of recent events, all of us have found ourselves confined indoors to maintain social distance. Hence, digital devices have become an essential part of our daily lives. According to reports, online entertainment services have reported an 82% increase in daily screen time. Few studies have suggested that children who attend online classes may have up to a 100 percent increase in screen time.
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) refers to the complex eye problems occurring during or after prolonged use of digital devices. Eye strain from extended screen use can cause ocular health problems and physical discomfort, such as tearing, tired eyes, burning sensations, headaches, blurred vision, redness, squinting, double vision, dryness, or foreign body sensations in the eyes. Secondary issues include stiff neck, backache, vertigo, and general fatigue. The most important thing today to treat or prevent digital eye strain is to develop a good screen schedule. In this article, you will learn more about the ocular side effects of increased screen time.
Ocular Side-Effects Of Online Classes And Work From Home
It is commendable that schools, educational institutions, and teachers are taking new initiatives to ensure that children do not suffer academically due to the pandemic. But it is also critical that they consider the children’s vision needs, educate them about proper screen use, and incorporate eye health strategies that will also protect the children while they benefit from online education.
Online working and lessons have aided in keeping the economy and businesses operating, educational classes not being squandered, medical consultations getting provided, board room conferences getting held, and decisions getting made on a national and global scale. However, just as having too much of something isn’t a good thing, too much screen time isn’t a good thing. We should teach everyone to balance it out so that our health, financial, and social well-being remain customary.
To understand why you need to keep a healthy screen time, here’s a list of ocular side effects of online classes and work from home.
1. Eye Strain
The most common eye problem is eye strain, caused by reading and computer use that today’s work and learn from home demands, usually for long periods and frequently in less-than-ideal lighting and ergonomic environments. Eye strain can cause dry, watery, itchy, red, or irritated eyes. Other symptoms of eye strain include a burning sensation, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and difficulty focusing. Headaches, neck, shoulder, back pain, sleep problems, and general fatigue accompany these symptoms.
If you already have minor, uncorrected vision problems, the situation gets exacerbated. Even those who wear glasses or contacts may tilt their heads or lean toward the screen to see it.
2. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
Digital eye strain is another term for it. It gets defined as a collection of eye and vision problems caused due to prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and smartphone use.
A comprehensive eye examination gets used to diagnose computer vision syndrome. Treatment may include computer-specific glasses, vision therapy/eye exercises, and modifying how you view the screen. Adjusting the computer angle, seating position, lighting, adding an anti-glare screen filter, and taking frequent blinking and rest breaks are some examples through which you can aid your eyes.
3. Eye Infections
Bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections are another vital eye concern in online classes and work-from-home scenarios. Conjunctivitis, also known as the Pink Eye, occurs when the infection affects the surface of your eye and the inner surface of your eyelids as well. The eyes become red, swollen, inflamed, and sore, and they may discharge.
Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis remains highly contagious and can get transmitted through close personal contact, through the air by coughing and sneezing, or by touching an object or surface which has germs on it and then touching your eyes. (The third type of conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, is not contagious.)
4. Blurry Vision
Blurry vision can get categorized as one of the symptoms of eye strain. If you continuously sit in front of a screen for work or online classes, it is possible that after a while, your vision becomes blurry. To avoid it, you can adopt the 20-20-20 method, where you opt for a break after every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds and look further away at something 20 feet away from you. It will relax your eye muscles and increase blood circulation to your eyes, neck, and back. It will even solve your blurry vision problem if you do it regularly.
5. Minimized Focus
Due to the unscheduled long working hours, you may end up working more, but it can lead to a lack of concentration and focus and decreased work output. It can seriously hamper your productivity and cause anguish. Moreover, the effects these long work hours have on your eye health can get drastic. Therefore, you need to cut down on those long hours and work effectively to ensure your overall output does not get affected. It will help keep your eye health in check as well as your work life going smoothly.
Though the current generation is fortunate to have these connecting devices and technologies at their disposal, they must also be wise enough to use them sensibly and not as slaves. It is the responsibility of the parents to give clear instructions about the screen time duration and follow them. You, as parents, can use parental controls and use this lockdown to encourage communication and build a healthy relationship between you and your children.
On the other hand, if your work from home keeps you locked in front of the screen all day, you need to break the habit. It will allow you to take a break from screen time and spend quality time with your close ones. Moreover, it will help you keep your ocular health in check and avoid any aggravating side effects of increased digital screen time.
If you follow a strict screen schedule, you can keep eye-related problems at bay. However, if you or your child do encounter an eye-related issue, remember only to reach out to the most advanced eye-care hospitals and clinics for the problem. The experts at Dada Laser Eye Institute will guide you through the eye problem and suggest the necessary steps for further treatment. The doctors explain the risks involved and share their knowledge about the issue before and after your treatment. You can contact our experts and get a consultation by dialing <Number> or visiting our website to fill out a form <Link>.