As innovative technologies have been developed, humans have quickly found ourselves dependent on them. There aren’t many homes without a microwave or dishwasher, and there aren’t many people at all anymore without a mobile device. Smartphones have made it possible to check the weather, check our email, and check our Facebook friends. On the other hand, our mobile devices, due to our chronic use of them (research says we check them on average every 6.5 minutes), are associated with issues such as headaches, blurred vision, and muscle strain. Some research even indicates structural changes in the pinky finger due to holding a mobile device! In one recent study, researchers discovered that a tiny screen could cause big problems for children’s eyes.
Are you or your Child at Risk?
A number of studies have been conducted since the inception of Smartphones. Researchers have found an increased incidence of depression and anxiety, as well as physical symptoms such as dry eyes. One study, in particular, focused on how the use of a mobile device during childhood could be affecting the eyes.
In this study, 288 children were placed into one of three categories based on their eyes. The control group of children were categorized as having moist eyes. Another group had normal eye lubrication, and the final group had dry eyes. Each participant also answered questions pertaining to the type of technological devices they used, how often, and for how long. As you may suspect, those who spent the most time staring at a Smartphone screen had the most trouble with adequate eye lubrication. 20% more children in the dry eye group used some type of small device on a daily basis. Children who used computers and watched television had minimal risk for dry eyes, according to researchers.
While there are definitely advantages to the technology we frequently use today, there is also a need to understand the risks. Learning good habits in our use of mobile devices can keep us safer, healthier, and even more connected with those who deserve our face-to-face time.
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