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  • Dr Frantz Pierre-Louis & Lloyd Pierre-Louis

Screen (devices) and Health

One of the most popular entertainment stage in the current world is not located kilometers away from your home in a stadium, nor in a park nearby your house, nor in a theater building at some other place… It’s rather located right in front of you, at arm length, almost as big as the wall in your bedroom, or as little as the credit card in your wallet… We’re talking about the screens. As a matter of fact, many electronic devices such as flat screen TVs, cell phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, among others, are basically the norm today, not only for entertainment, but also for necessary functional duties. We don’t see each other anymore; we merely look at others thru the ever confounding proximity of an ever present and pervasive screen.

Screens per se, in the form of smart watches, could be vital (health-wise) for a heart patient monitoring his heart rate during moderate exercise in a controlled environment for instance. However, in general, excessive integration of screens in our daily lives is rather a matter of concern nowadays.

Besides the mental health issue of virtual reality which tends to substitute real life in the mind of somehow mentally-ill people addicted (to the extremes) to screen devices that host video games, there are many other health related issues which excessive use of screens are the main culprits. Indeed, the most important health related risks brought by screens are caused by the sedentarity (sedentary lifestyle) it encourages. In the healthcare setting, doctors and nurses spend more and more time in front of their computer screens instead of spending it with their patients. Moreover, beyond the healthcare setting, young children, teens and adults are also a prey to an insidious problem which affects the organ of sense

by which they can enjoy those screens so much, too much, way too much: their sight. Let’s mention for example the important fact most of these screens emit blue light (which is not a major problem in itself, since even natural sunlight also produces blue light).

However, imagine directly staring at the sun with your eyes and barely blinking during multiple hours, nonstop… This is actually what you’re doing ( of course on a smaller scale, in terms of blue light effect) when you spend literally hours staring at laptops, cellphones and other screens day after day, weeks after weeks, years after years… And since blue light is linked to macular degeneration, cataracts, etc., the impact of screens on your health is a serious and legitimate concern.

In conclusion, as big is the stage which screens erect in front of your eyes for the sake of entertainment, we must not be blind and ignore the frightening show which displays in the background (metaphorically speaking) and it is the tragic rehearsal of a slow but steady decline of your eyes and overall health over the long term… So, when it comes to preserving your health in front of screens, you better stare and blink cautiously!

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