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

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - Page 11

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.

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。