x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Modern world ‘bad for eyes’

A new study on screen time stresses the detrimental effect on eyesight, including changes to blink rate and tear evaporation.

Too much screen time might be harmful to your eyes. Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg
Too much screen time might be harmful to your eyes. Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg

The National staff

A new study on screen time stresses the detrimental effect on eyesight, including reduced blink rate and tear evaporation.

The British spend an average of 11 hours a day looking at their computer, mobile, TV, tablet and e-reader screens, says the survey, conducted on more than 2,000 British people by the eye care specialists Spectrum Thea, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

More than half of respondents, 54.4 per cent, between the ages of 16 and 24, agreed that they had suffered from symptoms associated with conditions such as dry eye and blepharitis.

According to the research, an increased concentration on reading, playing computer games and watching videos can reduce a person’s blink rate by a third. This reduced blinking can lead to a higher rate of tear evaporation, which can result in dry-eye syndrome and further complications.

“The sheer amount that people are now spending looking at screens is worryingly high,” says Sarah Farrant, a dry-eye specialist and partner at Earlam and Christopher Optometrists in Taunton, England. “While people may not think the symptoms associated with these common eye complaints are serious, if left untreated, these conditions can become chronic and, in some cases, can lead to permanent damage to your eyes.”

The survey was commissioned to help raise awareness of the effect of modern lives on eyes.

Respondents also reported that in one week they only spend 12 hours and 58 minutes of quality time with their families, 10 hours and 16 minutes looking at their partner and a meagre five hours and 44 minutes walking around outdoors.

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