April 29, 2017

Smartphone is bad for your vision and posture


Do you use your smartphone for hours together? Are you always busy texting, playing games or watching videos on your cellphone? If yes, then there is some worrying news for you. Not only does your productivity gets affected with excessive smartphone usage; your addiction to this gadget could lead to a host of psychological as well as physical health issues. I know it's very difficult to wean yourself from the smartphone since it has become a part and parcel of your life, almost like another organ of your body. And that is the very reason why you should try your level best to escape from its clutches and concentrate on more productive things in life. More so, for the sake of your health!


I've been there and am trying to reduce cellphone usage to the bare minimum. I was especially alarmed after I read how a Chinese man who used to text for hours together in the dark risked going blind after his retina detached from the back of his eye. Excerpts:
Experts say starring at devices, such as phones and tablet computers, can put unnecessary strain on a person's eyes.

'Our eyes have evolved for three-dimensional viewing,' Andrea Thau, a New York City-based optometrist, told NBC News.

'So we wind up overfocusing as we strain to find a 3-D image on a close-up 2-D screen.'
Last year a laser eye surgeon warned that rates of short sightedness among young people have soared because of smartphones.

David Allamby, Founder of Focus Clinics, said there had been a 35 per cent increase in the number of people with advancing myopia (short sightedness) since the launch of smartphones in 1997.

He added that the problem could increase by 50 per cent in the next ten years.
Looking at smartphone screens while lying in bed and in darkness should be totally avoided as it can play havoc on your vision. As per The Guardian, two women went temporarily blind from constantly checking their phones in the dark. The details:
In Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, doctors detailed the cases of the two women, ages 22 and 40, who experienced “transient smartphone blindness” for months.

The women complained of recurring episodes of temporary vision loss for up to 15 minutes. They were subjected to variety of medical exams, MRI scans and heart tests. Yet doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with them to explain the problem. Dr. Gordon Plant of Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London explained that both women typically looked at their smartphones with only one eye while resting on their side in bed in the dark — their other eye was covered by the pillow.
“So you have one eye adapted to the light because it’s looking at the phone and the other eye is adapted to the dark,” he said.

He said the temporary blindness was ultimately harmless, and easily avoidable, if people stuck to looking at their smartphones with both eyes.
Way back in 2011, I had written how squeezing your phone between your neck and shoulder could cause neck pain due to improper posture. You should never talk on your landline phone or cell phone in such a position. Now that the usage of landline phone is getting reduced day by and day and smart phone usage has increased, you should start worrying more about the "text neck" syndrome. Spine surgeons are noticing an increase in patients with neck and upper back pain, likely related to poor posture during prolonged smartphone use, says this report. Excerpts:

Lanman and co-author Dr. Jason Cuellar, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedars-Sinai, write that people often look down when using their smartphones, particularly when texting as compared to browsing online or watching videos. Previous studies have also found that people hold their necks at around 45 degrees, and it becomes even worse as they sit, versus standing, the study team writes. The impact on the spine increases at higher flexed postures, they add. While in a neutral position looking forward, the head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. At a 15-degree flex, it feels like 27 pounds. The stress on the spine increases by degree, and at 60 degrees, it’s 60 pounds.
Lanman and Cuellar suggest simple lifestyle changes to relieve the stress from the “text neck” posture. They recommend holding cell phones in front of the face, or near eye level, while texting. They also suggest using two hands and two thumbs to create a more symmetrical and comfortable position for the spine.

Beyond smartphone use, the spinal surgeons recommend that people who work at computers or on tablets use an elevated monitor stand so it sits at a natural horizontal eye level. With laptops, they recommend a similar adaptation by using a separate keyboard and mouse so the laptop can be at eye level and still create a good ergonomic position while typing.
And if you are pregnant, it's better to avoid smartphones as far as possible. The reason being, a study has found that children whose mothers were frequent cell phone users during pregnancy were more likely than those of less frequent users to be hyperactive. Also the risk of exposure of the unborn child to cellphone radiations is always there, although there are no proper studies to evaluate to what extent this affects the foetus. So to be on the safer side, it's best to minimize or totally avoid the use of smartphones during pregnancy.

In conclusion, never let a gadget take over your life and expose you to several health risks. Be a master or technology but let not technology master you.


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4 comments:

  1. "The problem with smartphones is that you have to hold them very close to the eye. Prolonged near-point activities can lead to symptoms like pain in the eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes from inadequate blinking and headaches."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sonal3:29 PM

    Those who use cellphones extensively should cut down on its usage. Take regular intervals and try to maintain a distance from your phones. Also, blink more often as it prevents the eyes from drying. Reading black letters on a white background can decrease eye strain. Increasing font size is also a must,"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Preeti3:30 PM

    If you are buying a new iPhone, don't use it in bed - and not just because nighttime smartphone use messes up your sleep cycle.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anasuya3:31 PM

    . Sleep disturbance and "light at night" have been linked to higher cancer risk, particularly for breast and prostate cancers

    ReplyDelete

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