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Computer Screens May Cause Glaucoma Study Suggests


Computer Screens May Cause Glaucoma

Study Suggests

Those who were heavy computer users were twice as likely to have glaucoma than light or medium users. A recent study suggests that heavy users of computers – especially those who are nearsighted –may have higher chances of developing glaucoma a disease that can cause blindness.

Japanese doctors assessed the sight of more than 10 200 Japanese workers measuring them for visual acuity and signs of glaucoma. The volunteers were also asked to fill in questionnaires about their computer use at home or in the office and any history of eye disease. A total of 165 workers or 1.6 percent turned out to have suspected glaucoma characterized by tunnel vision or blind spots.

Those who were heavy computer users – defined as working onscreen more than eight hours a day – were twice as likely to have glaucoma than light or medium users. In addition of the 165 with glaucoma 136 were nearsighted.

Glaucoma is a slow gradual disease of the optic nerve that often goes undetected since its symptoms are generally internal. Among the identified risk factors are smoking and high blood pressure. The authors of the study speculate that the optic nerve in nearsighted people may be more vulnerable to computer stress than in normal-sighted people.

If so that would be dramatic news given that so many hundreds of millions of people around the world now work at computer terminals at work and at home. The researchers stress however that the study has limitations notably since most of the volunteers were male and this may have skewed the outcome. Further work is needed to probe the suspected link they say.

The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published by the British Medical Association (BMA).

Originally published by Yahoo News



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