Devices are everywhere nowadays. And in many households – children as young as one year are entertained with videos and games on devices and encouraged to watch TV when they are eating or otherwise bored. As children become older – they spend more and more time on devices. And many children nowadays are in the habit of reading entire books on hand-held electronic devices.
Parents use mobiles and other devices to entertain children and make life convenient for themselves but they are always worried about the damage that the devices and TV do to their children’s eyes.
So common questions that parents have about eyes are –
Will my child’s eyes get spoilt if she/he watches TV?
Will my child’s eyes get spoilt if she/he uses the mobile or iPad?
Will my child’s eyes get spoilt if she/he works too much on the laptop?
To answer these questions – we have with us today Dr. Anirudh Singh who is a pediatric ophthalmologist.
About Dr. Anirudh Singh
Dr Anirudh Singh MBBS, MS (Ophthalmology) DNB (Ophthalmology) is a highly qualified and extremely accomplished pediatric ophthalmologist and an associate professor in ophthalmology. He has trained in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus at the All India Institute of Medical sciences (AIIMS) has a fellowship in pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (FAICO). He also has a certificate on pediatric ophthalmology (ORBIS)
Detailed article continues below the video
In answer to the question – “Will my child’s eyes get spoilt by watching TV or using the mobile?”
Dr. Anirudh begins by saying “Yes. Eyes will get spoilt and children will develop a variety of eye problems if they watch TV, use the laptop or the mobile or tablet for long hours.”
How does working on hand-held devices or e-devices affect the eyes?
When a person works on a hand-held device or an e-device like a mobile or a tablet – her/his eye muscles contract. When the eye muscles contract – they cause eye strain. When a person uses the device for a short time – the eyes are able to tolerate the strain. When however, the device is used continuously for a long time the eye muscles get fatigued or tired.
When the eye muscles get tired they are no longer able to focus as well as they were focusing before and the person develops pseudo myopia or minus power in the eyes.
Also Read Does My Child Need Glasses For Myopia
What are the problems when a child uses mobiles and other hand-held devices?
When a child regularly uses mobiles and other devices for long periods of time the following conditions are possible –
- They develop refractive errors. This means that they cannot see properly and require glasses to see.
- Headache is another common symptom
- Watering and redness of the eyes
- Eye irritation and allergy
How can you prevent eye problems while watching TV?
Limit the usage. If you or your child are watching television try to stop after 30 to 45 minutes.
How can you prevent eye problems while working on the laptop or computer?
If you are working on a computer the glare of the screen causes you to reduce the number of times you blinking. So when you are working on the laptop – you blink 1/3rd the number of times you would otherwise blink. This causes dryness on the surface of the eye .So the solution to this is that after every 30 minutes of computer usage take a five-minute break Or better still walk around then again sit and work on the computer if it is unavoidable
How can you prevent eye problems while working on the mobile?
When children have mobiles in their hands – they sometimes play continuously for 2 or 3 hours at a stretch. Sometimes children are reading on the mobile and they read an entire novel or a book for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch. Using the mobile for 3 hours at a stretch causes the eye muscles or the ciliary muscles to constantly contract and ultimately get tired.
The muscles in the eye require a break every 20-25 minutes.
So every 20-25 minutes ask your child to look at a distant object to relax the eye muscles.
If possible, every 15-20 minutes get up and walk around and then work again.
Working continuously for 2 or 3 hours at a stretch on any electronic device whether it is a laptop or a mobile is definitely going to harm your eye and will lead to refractive errors, dryness and allergies .And ultimately something called the computer vision syndrome. So please limit the usage of devices.