GOA warns against persistent screen usage

Eye Drop
Eye Drop

The Ghana Optometrist Association (GOA) has stated that persistent use of computers and other visual screens could lead to eye burning and many other conditions.

Speaking on, “Computer Vision Syndrome” (CVS) Dr Kwame Oben-Nyarko, GOA Public Relations Officer explained CVS is the term for a group of eye and vision-related problems that develop following the prolonged use of devices with digital screens.

He said devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones put increased demands on a person’s visual system, stressing that using these devices for extended periods without breaks could cause CVS symptoms, including eye strain and headaches.

Dr Oben-Nyarko stated at the Ghana News Agency – GNA/GOA My Eye! My Vision! campaign platform. The fortnight initiative is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote the need for people to access eye care and to draw attention to vision health.

The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! The initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of mankind’s well-being but is often neglected.

Dr Oben-Nyarko who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Third Eye and Vision Center identified some common symptoms of CVS as eye strain, ttransient blurring of vision, burning sensation, tearing, gritty sensation, pain, and dryness of the eye.

Others include headache, ocular fatigue, blurring of vision, and doubling of vision.

“A person may also experience neck and shoulder pain as a result of sitting for long periods,” he said.

Touching on the causes of computer vision syndrome, Dr Oben-Nyarko said having uncorrected refractive errors, glaucoma, cataract, dryness of the eyes, conjunctivitis, prolonged use of the computer, and poor ergonomics.

He said to manage the computer vision syndrome, refractive errors must be corrected, the computer must also be positioned well to avoid reflections, treatment of underlying eye conditions, and the adoption of 20:20:20.

He explained that one must work on the screen for 20 minutes after which, he or she must look 20 feet ahead to relax the eyes for 20 seconds.

Dr Isaac Selase Alomele, Managing Director, Eyeroom Optical Center, Zimbabwe advised the public to get an eye test at least every 18 months to maintain a healthy eye condition.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager, Ghana News Agency, in a welcome address said, “My Eyes! My Vision! Advocacy campaigns started about a year ago with the aim of educating the public on the need to take good care of their eyes.

He said the platform was used to provide the needed information to influence policy formulation, especially on vision health.

Mr Ameyibor commended GOA for agreeing to join forces with the GNA Tema Regional Office for holistic public health education.

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