India is now home to the world's largest population of blind at 15 million cases against 37 million globally. Medical data says that on an average, nine out of 10 adults spend more than two hours each day on a digital device, of which 10% spend at least three-fourth of their waking hours.
As much as 80% of the people with eye-related problems in the national capital are Information Technology (IT) professionals, ophthalmologists said.
‘Digital eye strain is responsible for 80% of the overall patients visiting ophthalmologists and this problem is now rising among the Information Technology (IT) professionals.’
They said the basic reason was that the IT professionals spend a minimum of 10 hours in front of laptops, computers or were busy fiddling with their cell phones.
"Digital eye strain is a discomfort felt by many individuals after spending a few hours in front of a digital screen like desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. It is responsible for 80% of the overall patients visiting us and this problem is now rising among the IT professionals," said Mahipal Sachdev, Director of Centre for Sight, a leading chain of eye hospitals in India.
According to Sachdev, the impact of exposure is compounded by the fact that multiple devices are often used simultaneously, putting excessive strain on the eyes.
Ritika Sachdev, a city based ophthalmologist, said: "IT professionals have more eye problems as they spend more time on laptops and phones compared with other professionals. This constant exposure to technology shocks our eyes and lead to digital eye strain, dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and back pain accompanied by headache."
However, Ritika says, a few exercises can be performed to keep the eyes relaxed, such as palming which can soothe eyeballs.
"Convergence exercises (to focus on closer object) can strengthen the eye muscles," said Ritika.
According to experts, it is always better to take precautionary measures to avoid eye strain. Frequent blinking of eyes while looking at the screen helps to avoid fatigue and dryness.
Individuals should make sure to have enough brightness in the room while working on laptops, and take regular breaks.