Refractive error, digital eye strain cases among students due to online education: Survey

The survey showed 32% of students as having refractive error, while the usual trend was 10-15%

Refractive error, digital eye strain cases among students due to online education: Survey Refractive error cases among 32 percent students compared to earlier 10-15 percent trend due to online education, says survey
Abhiraj P | Feb 17, 2022 - 5:22 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: A survey conducted by New Panvel-based RJ Sankara Eye Hospital in Navi Mumbai claims that school and college students are developing refractive errors due to increased screen time because of online education. Refractive error leads to blurred, hazy vision and digital eye strain.

A statement released by the Sankara hospital says that 79 out of 247 students surveyed by the outdoor patient department of the hospital had refractive errors. The hospital said that earlier, there was a 10-15 percent trend, but this has now increased to 32 percent.

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Another study that was published in the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology says that 109 out of 217 students were diagnosed with digital eye strain.

Students’ exposure to digital screens has increased exponentially since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were imposed as educational institutions shifted to online modes of education. According to RJ Sankara Eye Hospital, average digital device usage has increased to five hours among 36 percent of students surveyed due to online learning.

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“The risk of DES is seen rising significantly for those students spending 4-5 hours per day on digital devices, as per several other studies, said Ankita, a paediatric ophthalmologist at RJ Sankara Eye Hospital.

According to the hospital, vision therapy can reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain. "Vision therapy includes a series of in-office and home-based exercises administered over a period of weeks or months with the help of special glasses, filters, prisms and computer-assisted vision programmes that improve eye focusing, coordination and tracking,” Ankita said.

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