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Increased Screen Time for Kids Can Cause Permanent Eye Damage

“When you concentrate very hard on a task such as on a computer screen, you blink less, and also instead of fully blinking you partially blink and so what’s happening is damage is being done to the front of the eye.”

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The blue light emitting from these digital devices can affect your eye's retina
The blue light emitting from these digital devices can affect your eye's retina . Flickr
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Kids are addicted to cell phones, tablets ,anything with an electronic screen. The problem is, it’s bad for their eyes.

With the popularity of video games and online activities, dry eye is becoming increasingly prevalent in children and teens glued to their screens. The condition can cause permanent eye damage.

But, now there’s an app for that.

Optometrist explains

Professor James Wolffsohn is an optometrist at Aston University in Britain who has noticed something troubling.

“What we’re beginning to see is now with the use particularly of screens, digital screens, tablets, smartphones that even children are reporting dry eyes,” he said.

Tears contain oil, Wolffsohn explained, and your eyes should always have a thin layer of tears.

“The tear film on the front of your eye is there all the time not just when you cry. It’s less than the tenth of the thickness of a human hair, but without it you probably wouldn’t see at all,” he said.

Eyes Should Always Have a Thin Layer of Tears. Pixabay
Eyes Should Always Have a Thin Layer of Tears. Pixabay

That’s because, without tears, your eyes would dry up, likely get infected or scratched. With kids spending more and more time in front of a screen, many are at risk for developing dry eyes.

“When you concentrate very hard on a task such as on a computer screen, you blink less, and also instead of fully blinking you partially blink and so what’s happening is damage is being done to the front of the eye,” Wolffsohn said.

When tears aren’t being produced, they evaporate and leave behind their salty content, which can do further damage to your eyes.

The app

But now, there’s a smartphone app that can diagnose dry eyes. People tested it at a demonstration in London. The app asks some simple questions and tests how long you can comfortably stare at a screen without blinking.

Wolffsohn notes the irony of using an app on the very device that is causing the problem.

“We’re actually using the technology that potentially could cause problems, if you use a lot of it, to actually help us with the diagnosis,” he said.

Also Read: Headache Due to Spending Long Hours in Front of Computer? Here’s How You Can Protect Your Eyes!

Doctors say even if you don’t have the app, you can protect your eyes by simply remembering to blink when you’re in front of a screen. And you should remind your kids to do the same. (VOA)

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Risk of Autism in Kids Associated with Mother’s Pesticide Levels

In addition, the odds of children having autism with intellectual disability were increased more than twofold with maternal DDE levels above this threshold

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Mothers' pesticide levels linked to autism risk in kids. Pixabay

Elevated pesticide levels in pregnant women are associated with an increased risk of autism among their children, says a study.

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with largely unknown causes. It is characterised by problems with communication, difficulty relating to people and events, and repetitive body movements or behaviours.

“These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring,” the researchers said.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, examined whether elevated maternal levels of persistent organic pollutants are associated with autism among children.

Persistent organic pollutants are toxic chemicals that adversely affect human health and the environment around the world.

The researchers, including Professor Alan Brown from Columbia University Medical Centre in the US, analysed levels of DDE, a breakdown product of the pesticide DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane).

These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring
These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring. Pixabay

Although DDT and other persistent organic pollutants were widely banned in many countries decades ago, they persist in the food chain, resulting in continuous exposure among populations.

These chemicals transfer across the placenta, resulting in potential prenatal exposure among nearly all children.

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The researchers evaluated levels of DDE in maternal serum samples drawn from more than 750 children with autism and matched control participants from a national birth cohort study, the Finnish Prenatal Study of Autism.

The odds of autism among children were significantly increased in mothers whose DDE levels were elevated (defined as the 75th percentile or greater).

In addition, the odds of children having autism with intellectual disability were increased more than twofold with maternal DDE levels above this threshold, the study said. (IANS)