How your smartphone is slowly damaging your eyesight

There are more people becoming short-sighted owing to increased smartphone addiction

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Spending too much time on your smartphone? You are at risk of becoming short-sighted.

Smartphones are increasingly damaging people’s vision by causing eyeballs to continue growing for longer than they should, an ophthalmologist has claimed.

Andrew Bastawrous says that there are more people becoming short-sighted now than there were a decade ago.

The eye specialist believes the amount of time we’re spending in front of screens is at least partly to blame.

Severe myopia can lead to sight-threatening conditions, including glaucoma and retinal detachment.

“The growth of the eye tends to slow down in your late teens and stop. But what's happening in these population is that it isn't stopping. It seems to continue, and it's being seen all over the world but much more so in Asia,”  notes Mr Bastawrous.

Myopia is caused by the elongation of the eye, which causes light from distant objects to fall just short of the retina, making the image appear blurred.

“The initial theory for this is that people are doing more near-plane reading activity with smartphones which is encouraging the eye to become myopic to meet that environmental need. There’s also evidence that suggests this is happening too quickly for it to be purely an environmental or genetic response.”

He added that this could also be the case because people are spending less time outdoors, and getting less exposure to ultraviolet light.

“Many people no longer spend time looking at the stars and the mountains, they're looking at screens more often instead,” he said.

Bastawrous' sentiments echo an earlier report which stated that nearly half of 25 to 29-year-olds now suffer from myopia.All this owing to the advent of the computer and increasingly urban, indoor lifestyles.

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