30 May 2017

Taking Care Of Your Eyesight In The Digital Era

Dr. Rodrigo A. Quesada L., Ophthalmologist
President – Salvadorian Association of Surgery, Cornea and Anterior Segment
San Salvador, El Salvador

Our sight is one of the main ways in which we connect with the world and we use it in nearly 95% of daily activities.

The competitive nature of today’s society forces us to spend longer hours at work and school where laptops and smartphones have become the norm. In addition, our main sources of information, communication and entertainment come from this same type of device. The visual strain that results from overuse of electronic devices can cause chronic fatigue, irritation, dry eye and other sight impairments. Luckily, these can be prevented with a few proactive measures during the different stages of life.

  1. Children: During this stage of life, human beings need to stimulate their distance vision, whether through sports, outside play, or any other activity that forces the eye to focus on far away objects. Modern parents enjoy the convenience of having tablets and smart phones to keep their children entertained however excessive use of these devices promotes inactivity, childhood obesity and myopia (difficulties seeing distant objects). Tokyo University estimates that the rate of myopia will increase one hundred percent in the next few years.
  2. Education: We live in a different world and pencil and paper are on their way out. Homework is assigned through electronic platforms and internet searches and videos have become common educational tools. For this reason, a yearly visit to the ophthalmologist is highly advisable. Routine eye exams can detect visual impairments that can affect a person’s academic performance.
  3. At Night: To avoid affecting sleep patterns at night, it’s advisable to avoid using a cell phone with the room lights turned on.
  4. During the Workday: For people that spend long working hours in front of a monitor, it is important to rest your eyesight every ninety minutes, focusing on far away images to relax the ciliary muscle and avoid fatigue. Staring at a monitor can dry your eyes more than usual, therefore, it is advisable to blink frequently and, in some instances, apply ocular lubrication.

Sight is a miracle that not everyone can enjoy. Make sure that you take good care of it!

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