A SOBER­ING SIGHT

Fol­low­ing the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s de­ci­sion to al­low elec­tronic de­vices in school for learn­ing, we ex­am­ine the link be­tween gad­gets and eye strain.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - HER LIFE -

To keep up with cur­rent tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments across the world, gad­gets could be of­fi­cially al­lowed in Malaysians schools as early as the next school term. While this de­ci­sion by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion is def­i­nitely a step for­ward in pre­par­ing our kids for the fu­ture, it may not be such good news for their eye health.

CAUSE FOR CON­CERN

Dig­i­tal eye strain (DES) de­scribes a group of eye-re­lated prob­lems due to us­ing dig­i­tal de­vices for more than two hours a day. Not very long at all, if you add up the time kids al­ready spend on their gad­gets out­side of school. In a sur­vey car­ried out by Canada’s Al­berta As­so­ci­a­tion of Op­tometrists, pri­mary school chil­dren in Al­berta of­ten looked at screens for an av­er­age of four hours per day, with that num­ber dou­bling for teenage chil­dren. It’s not hard to imag­ine these fig­ures be­ing sim­i­lar here in Malaysia, if the num­ber of young ones hooked to their gad­gets at home and in pub­lic is any­thing to go by.

SHORT-SIGHTED?

The as­so­ci­a­tion says the high­en­ergy vis­i­ble (HEV) light that screens emit can pen­e­trate deep into the eye, caus­ing dam­age. Star­ing at a screen can also slow down your child’s rate of blink­ing – caus­ing their eyes to have less ex­po­sure to a pro­tec­tive layer of liq­uid that pre­vents dry eyes. HEV light reaches far deeper into the eye than other kinds of light and has a cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect on vi­sion. Stud­ies have also shown that al­though it boosts at­ten­tion and mood in the day, it can in­ter­rupt sleep pat­terns and plays a role in in­creas­ing the risk for chronic dis­eases.

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