It's safe to assume that we've been spending more time on our devices than ever. After all, there are only so many things to occupy ourselves with at home while riding out the Covid-19 pandemic. So prevalent is the overuse of computer monitors and handheld devices that it has its own term: digital eye strain (DES). And if the symptoms are not taken care of, more serious issues can arise.
According to Dr David Goh, medical director at Novena Bladeless Cataract Surgery & Eye Specialist Centre, the symptoms of DES include difficulty focusing, eye spasm, eye pain, blurred vision, decreased visual acuity (the ability to discern shapes and details) and dryness. If left untreated for prolonged periods, something called conjunctival hyperemia can occur.
“The dryness of the eyes can result in inflammation of the ocular surface. This leads to decreased tear production, which leads to even more dryness. If no precautions are taken to break this cycle, there can be greater risk of infections and ulcers of the cornea,” he says. He warns that those particularly at risk are contact lens wearers, dry eye sufferers, and patients with diabetes or eyelid problems. DES can also lead to progressive myopia.
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