Eye problems concept such as near-sighted

Does spending a lot of time in front of a screen cause myopia? This is one of those questions that many people ask themselves and that they constantly encounter contradictory answers that depend on who they are asking and even how the question is being asked.

To solve all the doubts you may have, today we are going to tell you if myopia by screens is a myth or a reality and how constant exposure to a screen affects your visual health.

Is it true that screens affect the eyes?

Yes. Definitely, spending a lot of time in front of a screen, whether computer or mobile, can be a problem for your eye health.

The short distance at which we place the screens means that our eyes are subjected to visual overexertion to be able to focus and the constant state of alert in which the brain is while we are in front of a screen, are factors that affect your eye health and that can contribute to produce myopia by screens.

How do screens affect eye health?

Some problems that come with excessive exposure to screens can be:

  • Increased myopia: The increase in screen myopia is very real. It is estimated that in recent years cases of childhood myopia and myopia have increased by 50%. This is due to the overexertion that our eyes make to focus properly on the object that is so close and for so long.
  • Eye Fatigue: Do not confuse it with presbyopia or eyestrain. Eye fatigue manifests itself with blurred vision, headache, etc. and occurs because our brain is constantly alert in front of the screen, trying to interpret and anticipate things.
  • Blepharitis: It is an inflammation that occurs in the eyelids. It tends to affect both eyes at the same time, at the edges of the eyelids and can cause itching, discomfort and irritation.
  • Dry eyes or dry eyes: Another effect of the hyperactivity of the brain in front of screens is that the urge to blink is greatly reduced. In normal situations we blink every 8 seconds while in front of the screen we can keep our eyes open for up to 30 seconds. This has the consequence that our eyes become dry out more than normal, which results in difficulty focusing on objects and discomfort in the eyes.

Can screen myopia be prevented?

Myopia also depends on an important genetic factor. However, there are a number of precautions and measures that should be taken, especially if, like most people today, you work eight hours in front of a computer and depend on your mobile for everything:

  • Remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from the screen and look for 20 seconds at an object that is 20 meters away. With this way of resting your eyes, you give your eyes the respite they need.
  • Force yourself to blink and close your eyes from time to time to prevent your eyes from drying out. You can also help yourself with artificial tears, which moisturize the eye and keep it moist.
  • A very common recommendation for both personal and work computers is to place the screen a little lower than the eyes.
  • Place the screen in such a way with respect to the sources of natural light that there are no reflections in it.
  • Screen myopia seriously affects the children’s sector. The general recommendation is that children do not have access to a mobile screen, tablet or computer until they are at least two years old. The longer you delay it the better. Televisions from an adequate distance do not have to be a problem. In any case, prolonged use of these devices is not recommended due to the cognitive effect they have on babies.
  • The posture in which you sit and maintain an ergonomic position affect visual performance more than it may seem. In addition to preventing myopia by screens, you will also save back and neck problems.
  • Try not to sleep with your phone on the bedside table or, at least, turn it off so that the screen cannot turn on while you sleep. Blue light passes through your eyelids and agitates your brain.

Screen myopia is much more common than you might think. It is much more noticeable in children, but adults can also be affected. It is best to follow the recommendations we have given you above and make moderate use of electronic devices.

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