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Cons of excessive screen time
BY A STAFF REPORTER February 10, 2018
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DUBAI: A prominent ophthalmologist has warned about an eye condition among youngsters arising from allergies and often their rubbing eyes. Habits such as watching TV from a close distance and using electronic devices for long hours causes conical cornea, an eye condition that particularly affects young people, leading to numerous visual disturbances.

Talking to the media, Dr Wassim Altroudi, an ophthalmologist at Ebsaar Eye Surgery Center Dubai, offered insight into this disease, its etiology, and possible treatments.

Dr Wassim highlighted that the disease mostly affects young people. It occurs when the cornea loses its ability to maintain its regular, spherical shape and takes on a cone-like form instead, which gives the disease its name. Conical cornea rarely occurs in early childhood; it often develops at an age of six or more years.

Shedding light on the symptoms, he said that there are a number of early symptoms that could help diagnose the disease in its early stages, including short-sightedness, myopia, and astigmatism.

“One of the biggest risks is allergic-related, as they prompt the child to constantly and aggressively rub their eyes, which could lead to the development of the condition. Parents are therefore advised to watch out for this habit in order to recognize it as soon as their child develops it,” he added.

He pointed that parents should make sure their children avoid certain habits such as sitting too close to the TV or the excessive use of electronic devices like tablet computers and mobile phones. In case the child complains of not being able to see clearly, a physician should be seen.

He pointed that once the diagnosis is ascertain, the next step should be to establish the severity of the condition. “It is then important to initiate treatment by performing corneal cross-linking - a minor procedure that involves the application of Vit. B2 drops as well as a certain type of ultraviolet rays.

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