Smartphone Use Linked to Presbyopia Symptoms in Japan

Presbyopia Symptoms  pic
Presbyopia Symptoms
Image: technology.inquirer.net

Dr. Anthony Roberts, founding physician at Shady Grove Ophthalmology, treats patients with a wide variety of vision difficulties. Dr. Anthony Roberts offers Lasik as well as nonsurgical therapies for myopia and is extensively experienced in the treatment of presbyopia.

Presbyopia, or farsightedness, is traditionally a condition of middle and older age. In a healthy and young eye, the ciliary body adjusts the thickness of the crystalline lens so that a person can focus on an object close to the body. Around the age of 40, however, the ciliary body muscle begins to break down and the crystalline lens begins to harden.

Lately, however, ophthalmologists and opticians in Japan have begun to notice an increase in presbyopia symptoms among young adults. A recent survey suggests that while only 0.5 percent of individuals aged from the late teens to 34 reported such symptoms in 2012, more than 6.6 percent did so in 2013. Eye care professionals believe that this increase may be largely due to this population’s near-constant use of smartphones, which invite a sustained focus on a small screen.

Staring at a close object causes the ciliary body to stiffen, thus decreasing the ability of the eye to adjust when switching from near to far vision and back again. Known as adjustment tension, this process is most often temporary but may become permanent in more severe cases. Some ophthalmologists have responded to this trend by calling for a reduction in the extended use of mobile devices and an increased focus on personal eye care.