Does your child spend a lot of time sitting glued to the television screen? Have you noticed an increase in the number of hours he/she spends playing on gadgets? The chances that he/she is suffering from myopia, computer vision or dry eyes syndrome are relatively high.

According to Dr Rakhi Kusumesh, associate professor at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), they get nearly 5-10 cases per day of young children below 15 years suffering from either myopia and computer vision or dry eyes syndrome.

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Pointing out lack of physical activity as an important factor for deteriorating eyesight, she tells TOI, “Children these days do not go out. Whatever activities they are engaged in require near vision, leading to poor development of distant vision. Children between 9 and 13 years of age develop myopic vision. Computer vision or dry eye syndrome, which is quite prevalent, is caused due to less blinking of eyes because of using gadgets for long hours.”

Besides asking children to indulge in more physical activity in the form of playing, she also advises them to not sit for long hours on a digital device. Blinking of eyes, she mentions, is a panacea to reduce the strain eyes suffer.

PMCH eye department’s HOD Dr Umesh Prasad Sinha talks about the increase in number of children suffering from dry eye syndrome. “Earlier, we mostly used to get young adults. Now, 5 to 10 children in the 5-15 years age group with dry eye syndrome visit us in the OPD every day. Cases of myopia are also on the rise. Continuous use of smartphones may also lead to burning sensation in the eyes,” he said.

He also advises parents to tell their children to take breaks while using smartphones or tablets for long duration so as to rest their eyes. Blinking should be induced so that the tear has a chance to spread on the cornea as often as it should.

Adults, too, are facing the consequences of this problem. According to a research, gadgets emit a kind of blue light that’s causing digital eyestrain.

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