More young people suffer from eye problems due to longer screen time
Oct 03, 2019GeneralComments Off on More young people suffer from eye problems due to longer screen time
Taipei-More young people in Taiwan have eye problems because of their increasing use of electronic devices such as smartphones, with the rate of teenagers suffering from dry eyes almost quadrupling in 2019, according to the results of a survey released Wednesday by the Ophthalmological Society of Taiwan (OST).
The survey, covering 1,088 people of different ages, shows that Taiwanese people stare at electronic screens for 10.7 hours on average per day, compared with 9.9 hours in 2018.
This means that people spend 66 percent of their waking hours squinting at screens, according to the survey results.
Although television screen time has decreased from 2.4 hours to 2.2 hours, the use of computers and smartphones has increased from 4.2 hours to 4.9 hours and from 3.3 hours to 3.6 hours, respectively, the survey shows.
Sun Chi-chin (???), OST's deputy secretary-general and an ophthalmologist at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, warned that the excessive use of small-screen devices such as smartphones might give rise to multiple eye problems.
Among the survey respondents, 82 percent experienced eye problems in the past one month, with eye strain (56.8 percent), dry eyes (41.9 percent) and blurred vision (30.1) the most common syndromes, Sun said.
Dry eye syndrome had the greatest surge among teenagers, from 3.6 percent to 12.1 percent, almost four times more than last year, the ophthalmologist said.
Sun said he has observed through clinical observation that it has become increasingly common for teenagers to develop dry eyes, a syndrome that normally affects those aged 50 to 59.
He went on to cite the latest data from the Bureau of National Health Insurance, which shows that 3,329 people aged 10 to 30 sought treatment for cataracts in 2017.
Even though more people are suffering from eye problems, only 15 percent seek immediate treatment, according to the OST poll.
The OST urged people to have an eye examination at least every year and to take a 10-minute break for every 30 minutes of screen time.
The OST released the figures in response to the approach of World Sight Day 2019, an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October by the World Health Organization.