Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Be wary of smartphone games damaging eyesight
低頭瘋遊戲 小心眼力不保

A woman looks at her smartphone at an intersection in Taipei on Oct. 29 last year.一名女子去年十月二十九日於台北一處路口看手機。

Photo: Weng Yu-huang, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者翁聿煌

Candy Crush Saga is the most popular game being played on smartphones as of late. No matter whether you are riding the bus, waiting for the bus or eating, so many people have their heads down, preoccupied “crushing candy” as soon as they have even a moment to spare. Eye doctors have discovered that the number of young patients visiting their clinics has been increasing, with symptoms that include sore, swollen eyes and rapidly worsening nearsightedness. They surmise that this mainly is occurring because people are playing cellphone games and staring at computer screens excessively.

Chen Ying-shan, head of ophthalmology at Cathay General Hospital’s Hsinchu branch, says that the vast majority of his patients in the past were elderly people, and that people between the ages of 20 and 60 only accounted for around 10 percent of his patients. In recent years, however, that number has risen to 30 percent.

The symptoms among this group of people are quite similar, including sore, swollen eyes, as well as dryness and discomfort, while another group of patients consists of young people showing signs of presbyopia and nearsightedness inexplicably getting rapidly worse.

For example, one 30-something woman was told by an eyeglasses retailer to see a doctor because her nearsightedness was quickly degenerating and had caused her to switch glasses twice in 6 months. After the doctor questioned her further about her daily routine, he found that her eyesight was probably getting worse due to looking at her cellphone too often, which had caused her pseudomyopia — temporary nearsightedness — to get much worse.

Chen says that looking at cellphones is worse for your eyes than looking at computer screens or watching television. The cellphone screen is typically only around 30cm from your eyes, and since the screen is so small, both eyes move inward toward each other to maintain single binocular vision — convergence — which is a huge strain on the eyes’ ciliary muscles, he says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. preoccupied adj.

全神貫注的;入神的 (quan2 shen2 guan4 zhu4 de5; ru4 shen2 de5)

例: Joan was too preoccupied to hear what her boss was saying during the meeting.

(開會時瓊想心事出神,沒聽到老闆講的話。)

2. flashlight n.

手電筒 (shou3 dian4 tong3)

例: I couldn’t find the flashlight when the lights suddenly went out, so I was tripping over all the furniture.

(停電時,找不到手電筒,所以我在家具間跌跌撞撞。)

3. necessitate v.

使成為必需;需要 (shi3 cheng2 wei2 bi4 xu1; xu1 yao4)

例: It has been said that war necessitates evil.

(有人說戰爭必然導致罪惡。)


Playing games on your cellphone in poorly lit areas is similar to taking a small flashlight and shining it directly in your eyes, which fatigues your eyes and can cause macular degeneration if sustained for an extended period of time. In the end, although you may not have poor eyesight, the quality of your overall eyesight can be negatively affected and may in severe cases necessitate surgery.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

近日最夯的手機遊戲就是「Candy Crush Saga (糖果大爆險)」,不管是坐車、等車、吃飯……,不少人一有時間就拿起手機低頭忙「消糖」。不過,眼科醫師也發現,近來眼科門診青壯年比例明顯增加,症狀包括眼睛痠脹不適、甚至近視度數大幅飆升,推斷多數都是因為玩手機、看電腦時間過長所致。

國泰醫院新竹分院眼科部主任陳瑩山分析指出,早年他的門診病患以老年人為大宗,二十至六十歲族群大概只占來診患者的一成,但近年已經占來診量三成。

這群人的症狀多半很類似,有些是眼睛痠脹、澀澀的、不舒服,另外一群則是年紀輕輕已經有類似老花症狀,或是近視度數莫名快速增加。

例如,一名三十幾歲的女性,因為近視度數快速增加,不到半年換了兩次眼鏡,在眼鏡行提醒下,來到門診就醫。醫師進一步詢問她的日常生活習慣發現,可能就是因為看手機看得太凶,才導致假性近視大幅增加。

陳瑩山指出,看手機比看電腦、看電視更糟。他解釋,民眾使用手機時,螢幕距離眼睛大約只有三十多公分,加上螢幕很小、眼球內聚力要很強,這使得眼睛的睫狀肌要更加用力。

若在光線不足下玩手機,則相當於拿個小手電筒一直直射眼睛。如此不僅眼睛疲累,長時間還可能造成黃斑部傷害,到時候視力雖然不差、但視覺品質可就大受影響,嚴重者甚至要動手術。

(自由時報記者洪素卿)

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