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Good Day Health Topics
Is your computer making you blind?
Is your computer making you blind?

A 2016 study from optical trade association the Vision Council found that 60 percent of people use digital devices for five or more hours a day - up from just more than one-third of Americans in 2012. The same study found that 65 percent of people experience vision problems including dry eyes, irritation or blurred vision after spending time in front of digital devices.

And according to eye doctors, the more time logged in front of screens, the worse the symptoms get: Lock eyes with any overachiever and you'll likely notice an involuntary twitch, known as an "accommodative spasm."Even more alarming: You might be prematurely aging your eyes. "With the advent of cellphones, tablets and laptops, we're seeing people in their 20s and 30s with eye issues that used to be exclusive to people in their 60s and 70s," says Dr. Richard Norden of Ridgewood, NJ-based Norden Laser Eye Associates. "Screen time is absolutely the culprit."

While eye-twitching and headaches can be reversed by taking a digital break, Norden has noticed his patients' prescriptions can permanently worsen depending on how much time they spend with their devices.

"It used to be an old wives' tale that staring too long at something, like a page while reading, would make you nearsighted," he says. "But now that isn't the case."

The reason? Overuse of the ciliary muscle, an eye muscle that changes shape depending on whether you look at something up close or far away. "Lock" the muscle in one position for too long - what happens when you stare at a screen or read an old-fashioned book for hours - and it suffers.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

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