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Nearsightedness due to intensive use of smartphones - doctors are in demand
For many people, the smartphone has long been an integral part of everyday life. Even though the devices make our lives easier in many areas, intensive use also poses health risks. Among other things, myopia among the population is increasing. Doctors should draw more attention to the possible dangers.
Draw attention to possible health hazards
Chatting with friends, surfing the Internet, playing, shopping or even looking for a partner for life: the use of smartphones and tablets is increasing. Unfortunately, this does not remain without health consequences. For example, there is an increase in myopia in the population, which experts attribute to the intensive use of smartphones. Physicians should therefore draw more attention to the possible health risks.
Effects of intensive use of smartphones
The intensive use of smartphones and tablets often changes not only social behavior, but can also lead to health problems. Studies have shown that the frequent use of such devices in children and adolescents can reduce sleep quality.
In addition, experts have long been pointing out the possible postural damage from intensive smartphone use.
"With intensive use, static posture, frequent repetitions of movement and high muscle activity can occur, which can strain the musculoskeletal system," says a message from the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA).
The consequences can include inflamed thumb tendons and neck tension.
The effects on the eyes can also be serious.
More and more people are short-sighted
An international team of researchers recently reported that about half the world's population will be nearsighted by 2050.
The number of short-sighted people in Germany is already very high. According to a study by the University of Mainz, more than half of the high school graduates and university graduates suffer from myopia, the news agency dpa reports.
"That will increase still further," warned the director of the Eye Clinic of Rostock University Medical Center, Anselm Jünemann, who sees the overly long use of smartphones in children and adolescents and the associated too little time outdoors and in daylight as one of the main reasons for this .
A new widespread disease threatens
Myopic people perceive distant objects out of focus. According to Jünemann, permanent close-up work is responsible for myopia. The constant companion smartphone would make the effects much worse. "We ophthalmologists should take a position more clearly than before," said the expert, according to dpa.
According to the information, around five percent of the German population currently has a value of more than minus six diopters, one to two percent would be normal.
The eye gets the signal to grow when constantly looking at near objects. "The growth is irreversible," said the doctor. The higher the number of diopters, the longer the eyeball is. "It's like a balloon. The more it is inflated, the thinner it becomes. "
This in turn leads to poor blood circulation and degeneration of the retina. A new widespread disease threatens.
The professional association of ophthalmologists supports Jünemann's assessment. The possibilities of influence of the doctors are ultimately low, as the association spokesman Georg Eckert said according to dpa. "A gradual change in consciousness must take place."
However, given the spread of smartphones, Jünemann is skeptical. He refers to obesity, in which all the relationships are known, but the number of people affected continues to increase.
Therapy approaches from Asian countries
Some people are excluded from people with severe vision problems. This regulation is also justified, or “Would you like to fly with a half-blind pilot?” Asks Jünemann provocatively.
For him, restricting the choice of profession is the lever to change the trend. "Children understand a lot if you explain it." How the eyesight of today's young ametropia develops with ongoing maltreatment is still completely unclear today.
In the future, therapeutic approaches from Asian countries, which suffer much more from the ametropia of the residents, could possibly help. There some people drip a 0.01% Belladonna solution into their eyes. "It works, we just don't know how."
However, US drug agencies have only recently warned of the risk of homeopathic preparations based on Belladonna (black belladonna). The warning related to homeopathic dentifrices that can have life-threatening consequences in young children.
However, experts generally advise short-sighted people to do something, because myopia is also considered a risk factor for other eye disorders such as glaucoma or retinal detachments. It is best to clarify with the ophthalmologist which treatment makes sense. (ad)