By Jacqui Mayhew

Vision correction  needs globally are estimated to represent some four billion people out of a total population of seven billion and increasing evidence suggests that the requirement for corrective treatment is growing rapidly in all parts of the world. A number of factors are believed to be responsible for this trend including genetic and environmental causes but more recently concern has grown that people are becoming too addicted to their smartphones and that this is also contributing to increasing vision problems. By constantly staring at our smartphones, keeping our eyes in an "over-focused," cramped position, we have unwittingly brought about a major increase in visual deterioration.

According to the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer-related eyestrain affects 90 percent of people who spend three or more hours a day at a computer and most optical experts agree that the visual confinement created by spending time indoors reading and working at computers under the typically much lower levels of artificial light is a major contributor to the progression of myopia. Our visual field is then further compressed when we spend our leisure time - most likely still indoors - texting, checking e-mails and playing games on our handheld devices when in the past our eyes would more probably have been relaxing and viewing distant objects in the much brighter outdoor light. No wonder the demand for vision correction  is growing so fast.

The academic, professional and now social demands of modern life mean that increasing amounts of our time are devoted to staring a short distance into a screen, with the smartphone revolution exacerbating the problem. Whilst there is a proliferation of advice about taking short breaks away from the screen at regular intervals and to change the eye focus to more distant objects, this will rarely be followed consistently. So it is important that in dealing with the consequent vision correction  requirement, people are aware of all alternative treatments including the new ortho-k corrective contact lenses for shortsightedness which are only worn at night while sleeping yet provide perfect daytime vision after the lenses are removed each morning. Since dry eye is another consequence of extended screen stare, it is better not to have any lens on the eye during the day.

Check if you are suitable for ortho-k corrective contact lenses .

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