Sunday, 18 June 2017

How Digital Devices Are Affecting Your Health & Vision

From telegraph to telephones, from declaring love through letters which had to be sent by pigeons to messages through the modern WhatsApp, communication has come a long way. A combination of the inventions of great inventors like Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Babbage has surely changed the way we look at the world. What was initially meant to be a source of communication across seas and oceans has now become one of the main reasons why communication among family members has drastically reduced. Along with this, the internet which was supposed to be a source of information for all is now the leading cause of the spread of numerous kinds of incorrect data which in fact harms many. We have certainly heard numerous instances where sensitive and classified information has gotten into the wrong hands and proved to be detrimental to the entire functioning of a large scale organization.

photo courtesy: Digital Trends
The rapid growth of technology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century has certainly revolutionized the entire world. From toddlers to school going teenagers, from the youth to the senior citizens, everyone is so hooked up on everything that the internet has to offer, that it is impossible to find anyone without some kind of knowledge of the ever growing internet technology. The rapid growth in technology has altered our lives in such a manner that most of our day is spent glued to different kinds of devices that demand our complete attention throughout the day. Everyone is so engrossed in their phones and computers, that we barely have any time left for other activities.

The growth of technology and the accessibility of these devices to one and all have completely changed our lives. Earlier, it was the norm to see children goofing around and playing in parks, but these days, all the children of the current generation require is a few hours on their tablets or Xboxes, and they are wholly satisfied. Even toddlers, who earlier used to be fascinated by the large variety of toys solely made for them nowadays demand the services of an iPad to take in a morsel of food. And, desperate parents certainly do the needful. This has made our youngsters lazy to such an extent that they continue sitting in the same position for many hours at a stretch. Being used to getting everything done with a click of a button has definitely reduced any kind of physical exercise which in the long term has immense adverse effects.

photo courtesy: Twitter
While the growth of technology has definitely helped in finding a cure for numerous deadly diseases, it has also led to many new ones. There are many kinds of illnesses and diseases prevalent today which were unheard of in the past. Sitting for long hours in front of the computer or glued to the TV screen causes strains in the neck and spine. Studies have also shown that spending too much time on the phones leads to the penetration of harmful radiations to our brain, which can be detrimental to our nervous system. Nowadays, we see numerous youngsters roaming around with huge headphones on their heads. This not only leads to hearing loss if used for long durations of time, it also makes them oblivious to the outside world which can lead to fatalities if this occurs on a busy road.

Also read: Taking Too Many Selfies? You are probably suffering from 'Selfitis'

Other than this, excessive use of technology leaves us totally helpless in case of its absence. People these days do not even bother knowing their own contact number since it is definitely saved on their phone. In the absence of GPS, one is left absolutely lonely and stranded in an unknown land. Reminders and alarms which are found on every smartphone have ensured that we do not have to use our Grey Matter. Obviously, digital devices are absolutely necessary for today’s fast-paced life, but the huge dependence people have on them where its absence leads to frantic worry is something to be worried about. Since information is so easily accessible to everyone, it has made us humans immensely lazy. With one push of a button, our dirty laundry is clean and perfectly dried, and we can spend all the saved time glued to our phones.

photo courtesy: ViCare
It has become very natural for us to sheepishly admit that the first thing one does after waking up is to check our phones so that we do not appear left out of the world. It has become a painful necessity to keep checking one’s phone every few minutes as if indeed all the solutions to the world problems are locked away in our favourite handsets. Our minds have been programmed in such a way that it becomes impossible to spend time in our favourite restaurants in the company of our loved ones without checking-in on Instagram or posting snaps of the food. Not an hour goes by without us scrolling down our Facebook feed or replying to messages on WhatsApp. Admittedly, messages and emails are essential in today’s tech-centered world, but one can certainly wonder is it so necessary to be always available online, rather than spending time with those around us?

The tremendous growth of social media in the past decade has contributed immensely to our addiction to the modern gadgets. It has almost become mandatory to upload our vacation photos on Facebook or Instagram, making it often feel that a vacation is incomplete without it being posted on the internet. Certainly, Facebook and WhatsApp help us in staying in contact with far off relatives and friends, but what about those who live with us? Engrossed in the world of social media, we often ignore the people sitting in front of us, while all we are doing is Snapchatting with a long lost friend. When we hear a ping from the phone, all matters at hand are left forgotten in order to see what is going on in the world of social media. We can often see children roaming around lost in malls, while their parents are busy replying to some message or simply scrolling through Facebook.

This large amount of time spent on phones and the internet certainly has its adverse effects on our health.

While strains and backaches are secondary, something that is hugely affected by our time spent stuck to the screens of our phones and laptops is our eyes. Staring at a screen all day without any kind of movement definitely takes a toll on our eyes. Those who spend large durations of time online often complain about the soreness and dryness of the eye. Though this is not surprising if it occurs in those who work on computers all day long, it is slowly spreading amongst teenagers and young adults. Since the straining of the eye is long term and gradual process, it is often diagnosed at a very late stage.

photo courtesy: CBS News
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is something which cannot be prevented, but if it occurs due to a large amount of on screen time, it can be surely prevented by spending lesser time online. Sometimes, people who suffer from eye strain are unable to identify that themselves. It is known that prolonged screen exposure causes dryness and soreness of the eye, but it has numerous other symptoms. Many people complain of headaches and blurry vision when they use laptops and phones for a long time. Though digital eye strain itself is not a permanent effect, it can lead to many other problems. Visual impairment is something which is almost always caused by it.

Nowadays, it is very common to see people suffering from eyesight problems. Be it myopia, hypermetropia, presbyopia or astigmatism, these eyesight problems are something that affects both young and old. And with the blatant screen exposure, this has definitely increased in recent years. Studies have shown that those who are already affected by these eyesight problems face a greater risk when it comes to digital eye strain. Children who suffer from this often exhibit slower learning skills, since eyes are the essential organ for reading and writing. It also reduces the working ability of adults, thereby proving to be harmful to their careers.

What do we do to prevent this kind of situation?

Well, numerous preventive measures and steps must be taken so that our online culture does no harm to our vital eyes. Many specialists suggest using computer specific lens and spectacles while spending time online. Titan Eye Plus provides numerous kinds of corrective lens and computer specific glasses which can be easily incorporated into our everyday lives. These lenses are specifically designed to cater everyone’s needs. From high power lenses to lenses for those who require it only while using the computer; Titan Eye Plus ensures that everyone has their requirements fulfilled.

There are many other preventive measures that can be taken. Experts have always advised those using the computer daily that they should take optimum amounts of breaks from their on screen time so that the eyes gets to rest. A proper posture must be maintained while spending time on the computer so that the neck does not get strained. Also, since staring at a screen results in blinking less, one should definitely take adequate breaks and blink more to reduce dryness. There are also numerous types of filters that can be put on the laptop screen to ensure that they do not send out any harmful radiations.

Written by
Chandrika Mahapatra

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