Thanks to Natural Eye Care for reporting about increased nearsightedness in UK teens due to electronics and screens.
Smartphones, computers, tablets, and televisions are being blamed for a sharp increase in teenagers' need for eyeglasses in the United Kingdom. The number of teens who need glasses nearly doubled, from 20% in 2012 to 35% in just four years later.1 Myopia was the diagnosis for 66% of these teens. Myopia, or nearsightedness, makes distant objects look blurry. Excessive up-close focusing is a risk factor for developing myopia.
Nearsightedness generally develops in childhood and stabilizes in teenagers. The eyeball becomes too long. Similar to a projector, light from the eye focuses on the retina. With nearsightedness, the light focuses in front of the retina, not on it. Sometimes the cornea is misshapen.
The teens in the report spent about 26 hours a week on TV, video games, and smartphones. They were aged 13 to 16. Presumably, they were also in school five days a week.
Nearsightedness that goes undetected or untreated can lead to headaches, eye strain, and lower school performance. Teens are especially sensitive to feelings of isolation that untreated poor vision can bring.
Nearsightedness is still better than blindness which can also be caused by too much screen time. Sigh.
Activist Post reports regularly about health issues associated with poor eye health due to screens and other electronics. Please visit our archives for more details.