Cell phones a severe threat to children’s eyesight: AST

The esteemed ophthalmologist at Al-Shifa Trust, Prof. Dr. Tayyab Afghani, a recognized authority in his field, has issued a warning. He states that while smartphones have many benefits, they have also become a significant risk for youngsters. Overuse, a common occurrence, can lead to serious eye complications. Dr Tayyab Afghani’s expertise underscores the severity of the issue, as he explains that smartphones can have severe and long-lasting effects on children’s eye health.

He said parents and teachers should be aware of the consequences of children staring at smartphones for too long. According to him, most children with access to a smartphone use it almost all the time, while those whose eyesight is still developing have disastrous impacts on their vision.

Afghani warns that smartphones could potentially contribute to epidemic levels of eye problems. Research indicates that by 2050, the vision of 50 per cent of the world’s population may be affected. This alarming projection underscores the urgent need for action.

He said mobile phones have anti-glare screens and settings that reduce the emission of blue light, which may damage the cornea. However, adjusting the brightness, contrast, and size of the text can reduce some harm to the eyes. It is always helpful to teach children to blink frequently when watching the screen and to ensure the screen is at least 16 inches away from their eyes while watching.

He stressed that parents and teachers should try to involve children in other activities that distract them from the screen.

Dr. Tayyab Afghani offers a practical solution to mitigate the risk. He suggests setting time limits on how long kids can stare at screens, a simple yet effective way to protect their eyes. This advice empowers parents and teachers to take control of the situation. 

A trained ophthalmologist should examine children’s eyes every six months, lubricant eye drops should be used, and the 20-20 rule must be followed.

According to this rule, a person using a screen should shift his eyes to look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This should be repeated after a 20-minute gap.

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