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Mar 27, 2014

The impact of technology on your vision in Healthy Living

Time for a little mathematics….Try to add the number of hours you spend looking at a computer monitor, smart phone, tablet, e-reader and yes, even the hour or so you just spent watching the TV screen; tuned in to this newscast. Technology has dramatically improved our access to information in our offices, homes and even on-the-go. But how much thought have you given to what these bright screens have been doing to our vision? Tonight on Healthy Living, we tap into the knowledge and experience of one Ophthalmologist, who over the past thirty years has seen firsthand the way technology has impacted eye health.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

It’s hard to recall – or imagine, for some – what life without technology was like. Many of us, myself included, wouldn’t want to! But what does all this technology mean for our eye health? Ophthalmologist, Dr. Amin Heagar, has over thirty years of experience; he shares the changes he has seen over the years.

 

Dr. Amin Heagar, Ophthalmologist

Amin Heagar

“Today we’re talking about computers and your eyes. In those days people didn’t have computers, television, laptops, tablets or phones. People didn’t have many problems, as much eye strains. So they were not consulting with those kinds of complaints because they were not getting tired eyes or fatigue in the eyes because they were not getting tired.  Nowadays, I don’t know what we would do without it …your iPhone or your computer or Facebook on your tablet; its straining your eyes.”

 

Eye strain, tired eyes & even focusing problems are common. This then increases the demand for people to have their eyes checked; even for children who may feel discomfort. However, Dr. Heagar says that even though parents warn children about “spoiling” their eyes; it’s not really the truth.

Dr. Amin Heagar

“There is no such thing, as saying your eyes will become damaged or spoiled. You will just suffer. Nothing has been proven, if you watch TV or watch screens all day your eyes will be damaged or stop seeing, it’s more if you don’t have proper vision, or use the computer the proper way you will start having signs of eye fatigue and strain. We cannot do without them. Its modern era, its technology it’s here. It won’t go. First you have to make sure you have proper prescription of glasses that you’re seeing properly. The problem can start from there. When you’re looking at the monitor, your tablet or your computer, your eyes blink less, your eyes blink at about seventeen blinking per minutes and when we are staring at the monitors it reduces to almost half. So less blinking the eyes get drier, and dry eyes start to get fatigued, the eyes get red, congested and it can also evolve into headaches. So it’s important that you keep your monitor at least twenty to twenty-five inches away from your eye. We have a rule of twenty-twenty-twenty. Every twenty minutes relax your eye, look straight forward for 20 seconds and that will make you relax your eye and rest a little.”

 

Symptoms of eye strain include Blurred vision or double vision, dry or red eyes, eye irritation, headaches and neck or back pain. Dr. Heager stresses that checking your eyes will not only help you relieve discomfort but can increase productivity.

 

Dr. Amin Heagar

“Probably you are getting fatigued, maybe it’s just your eyes….more glare problems…constantly have this accumulation; you will have red tired eyes. Preferably, check yearly to see clearly. That’s my motto here.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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