By Esenvosa Izah and Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos – A Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr Modupe Idris, says staying on computer for long hours can cause Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and also lead to visual impairments later in life.
Idris, who is the Head, Department of Ophthalmology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
She spoke against the backdrop of the World Sight Day marked annually on Oct. 11.
“CVS can cause dryness of the eyes and prickly sensation in the eyes, because when you are on your system you stare.
“Now, when you go on like that for a few seconds without blinking, the outermost part of the eye gets dry, which causes the vision to become blurry and prickly, “ the opthalmologist said.
She said it was common, especially among young people, including students in both secondary and tertiary institutions to stay long hours on the computer.
According to Idris, this habit has resulted in many young people having issues with their vision.
“We have been seeing more cases of young people having visual impairments, because everything is now computerised.
“You see students not having hard copies of their textbooks, instead they prefer to stay on the computer system for hours,“ she said.
Idris advised people to blink intermittently and reduce the time they stay on the system to prevent visual impairment.
“Intermittently when you are on the system, you blink; when you blink, there is a thin film of tears that helps to lubricate the outermost part of the eyes, which helps to make the vision clearer again.
“We encourage people to use the computer, at least six to eight hours only on a daily basis.
“People should have what we call anti-reflective coating on their glasses; this will prevent excessive rays of light from getting into the eyes.
“We also prescribe eye drops to wet the eyes.
“Also, the sitting position is important so as to prevent back pains and other related conditions caused by not sitting properly,’’ she said.