The use of electronic devices such as smartphones and computers for more than four hours a day has caused the people of this country to face eye problems.

Optometry officer Nadiah Rashidi said the daily routine of using gadgets for up to 12 hours a day, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic season, caused the number of individuals with eye problems to increase.

“Based on observations, those who seek eye treatment, including to make new glasses, have more than tripled in the two years since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented last year.

“Most of them have to make new glasses and some even add power to their existing glasses due to vision problems called Digital Eye Strain (DES),” he told here yesterday.

According to Nadiah, the symptoms of DES are a disorder of vision and eye health which is caused by too long exposure to screened gadgets such as smartphones and computers.

“Someone who suffers from DES will easily feel dizzy, vision becomes blurred, there are multiple images, sore eyes, tired and as if burning.

“For the past two years, the most common group to make new glasses are school students and university students because they have been using gadgets for too long, including for online learning.

Nadiah also revealed that she was faced with a situation where a student had to increase the power of his glasses by more than 300 percent because he stared at gadgets for too long during the MCO season.

“Initially, the students involved only used glasses with a lens power of 100, but after six months of MCO being enforced, the power increased to 400,” he explained.

Another optometrist, Shahrizal Redwan, said that the increase in individuals using glasses during the MCOseason was greatly influenced by DES symptoms.

“Among the groups most at risk of being affected by DES are school students as they spend a lot of time using the device, including attending Teaching and Learning at Home sessions.

“Previously, the risk of students facing DES did exist, but when MCO they use the gadget for longer, which is 8 to 12 hours a day, thus creating a high risk of the symptoms,” he said.

Shahrizal explained that DES symptoms not only cause eye health to be disturbed, but also can have an impact on student achievement.

Meanwhile, Consultant Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Sunway Medical Center, Dr. Chin Pik Kee explained that long periods of use of electronic devices cause problems such as headaches, tension and eye irritation as well as blurred vision.

“When looking at the screen for too long, one’s eyes will become tense and create blurring problems when looking at a distance.

“They are also at risk of squinting due to the habit. So, I advise people to limit the time they use electronic gadgets and choose free activities instead of watching YouTube during their free time, ”he explained.

Dr. Chin also advised students who follow Teaching and Learning at Home sessions. to rest for every 20 minutes after looking at the screen and doing a brief stretch.

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