HYDERABAD: COVID-19 has confined us at our homes for almost four months, now. Most of us have become enslaved to our screens – mobiles, laptops and TV. The WFH population is engulfed in video calls, long work hours on digital screens, followed by binge-watching content.
The elderly are coping up with their loneliness and isolation, by spending long hours on their phones or by watching TV. “Research has revealed that blue light affects the retina and too much exposure can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina,” warns Dr Raja Narayanan, honorary secretary, Vitreo Retina Society of India (VRSI). He adds, “One of the retinal diseases affected by blue light exposure is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).”
It is a progressive disease of the retina, that can cause vision loss.It is characterized by the gradual deterioration of the macula causing damage to the centre vision, explains he. Long hours spent in front of electronic devices lead to tension in the eyes (causing strain), dry and itchy eyes along with physical and mental fatigue. There are a few symptoms of AMD which cannot be overlooked such as blurred or fuzzy or distorted vision, impaired colour vision, experiencing dark spots in vision, straight lines that appear wavy or crooked and difficulty seeing at a distance.“Elderly people already suffering with any eye illness or retinal disorders, should take extra precautions like restricting screen time for a few hours every day and noting any changes in vision,” says Dr Raja.
Tips to maintain eye health
- Follow the 20 minutes rule and don’t forget to blink
- Use correct lighting and maintain distance from the screen
- Don’t miss your appointment
- Vitamin A and C in diet