Eye ailments among kids up, excess screen time to blame - ECAS Punjab

Eye ailments among kids up, excess screen time to blame

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Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, July 17

There is a surge in the number of students and teachers visiting eye specialists for the past couple of months due to the conduct of online classes by educational institutes.

The lockdown from March forced schools to shift to online classes to ensure that the syllabus was completed, but now, the excessive use of different mobile and computer applications for these classes is throwing up a new range of issues. This is a cause of worry for many parents because children spend extra hours on phones and laptops.

'Eat fruit, veggies'

Giving rest to eyes at equal intervals, eating fresh fruit and vegetables and regular check-up are some of the dietary habits that must be adopted by children, said Dr Vitul K Gupta, a health expert. Doctors are also advising that children below three years should not attend any online classes.

Bathinda-based eye specialist and surgeon Dr HS Sodhi said, "Cases are definitely rising and some are even detected with computer vision syndrome. Last week alone, I have seen around five to 10 cases of children and teachers with issues of blurring of vision, dry eyes and headache. Most of the time, we find children keeping the gadgets close to their eyes. This is harmful for eye muscles. When they put excessive effort, it causes blurring of vision."

City doctors said they were getting queries from parents on how to keep eyes of their children safe. Gurleen Kaur, mother of a Class V student, said, "I have to give my child a phone for the first half of the day for studies. He doesn't have any option as online classes are going on and if we do not do so, he will miss his studies."

Dr Vitul K Gupta, a health expert, said, "Eye strain is among the most common problems. Some of its symptoms include irritation, excessive blinking, frequent rubbing of eyes, dry eyes, headache from eye strain and even tiredness. Parents must be extremely careful on how the child spends time online."

He said parents could encourage healthy lifestyle habits among their children which in turn would benefit their eyes too. Giving rest to eyes at equal intervals, eating fresh fruit and vegetables and regular check-up are some of the good dietary habits.

Doctors are also advising that children below three years should not attend any online class and those between four and six years should have only 90 minutes of online teaching with a break in between.

Children between seven and 12 should have up to four hours of lessons with two or three breaks while those up to the age of 16 should have up to eight hours of lessons, if required, but with several breaks and a long lunch break.



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