Exploring the Influence of Screen Time on Myopia Risk in Preschoolers and Adults

Nahla Adel Gamaleldin Sayed Shafie *

Mediclinic Hospitals - Baniyas Clinics, United Arab Emirates.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The excessive screen time that has become an evident part of the current generation’s agenda has resulted in the comeback of refractive errors and many other related eye conditions in the adult population. Nowadays, the level and the kind of screen time exposure that people have also seized increased, requiring research on whether there exists any association between their consumption and the likelihood of refractive errors becoming worse or even developing. Myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism are the most typical types of refractive errors that can lead to visual impairments and limit a person's active lifestyle as well as impacting work performance. Many investigations were conducted to discover the level of myopia and hyperopia following a prolonged time in front of screens. A longer period dedicated to close work, like reading and computer use, was found to be strongly correlated with a bigger risk of increased myopia in adult people. On the other hand, the near vision activities being the result of close-up tasks not only proved to be a potential risk factor for developing myopia but also ended up being a protective factor against the same. Several potential mechanisms have been proposed to elucidate the link between screen time exposure and refractive errors. The most widely accepted theory is the “near work hypothesis,” which posits that prolonged engagement in close-up activities leads to excessive accommodation and axial elongation of the eyeball, thereby increasing the risk of myopia development. This review shall explore the influence of specific screen-related activities, such as reading from electronic devices and engaging in near-work tasks, on the development of refractive errors. This review discusses potential mechanisms underlying the relationship between screen time and refractive error development, including changes in ocular biometrics, accommodative dysfunction, and environmental factors. By critically evaluating the available literature, this review aims to provide insights into the complex interplay between screen time exposure and refractive error development in adult patients. Understanding these relationships is crucial for informing public health interventions and guidelines aimed at promoting healthy screen habits and minimizing the risk of ocular complications in the digital age.

Keywords: Screen time, refractive errors, ophthalmology, myopia, astigmatism, near-sightedness, far-sightedness


How to Cite

Shafie , N. A. G. S. (2024). Exploring the Influence of Screen Time on Myopia Risk in Preschoolers and Adults. Asian Journal of Research and Reports in Ophthalmology, 7(1), 68–73. Retrieved from https://journalajrrop.com/index.php/AJRROP/article/view/99

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