A week before first grade, I stood in the hallway of my pediatrician’s office reading off the eye chart. The large letters presented no problems, but as the letters decreased in size, so did my ability to read them.
Ten years later, a week before I began junior year, a similar scenario took place. This time I sat in the office of my ophthalmologist and was again asked to read the chart without the aid of my contact lenses or glasses. The result was as I expected: I couldn’t read a single letter.
I always wonder why I have such poor vision. My mom is nearsighted just like I am, but her vision is still significantly better than mine. This brought me to realize that genetics didn’t play as large a factor in my eyesight as I would have hoped.
With that knowledge, I can deduce that my poor vision can most likely be attributed to my lifestyle.
Like most people my age, my life revolves around my cellphone and computer. School work accounts for most of the time I spend using my laptop. I stare endlessly into a 13-inch MacBook taking online quizzes, reading newspaper articles, writing essays and occasionally using online textbooks.
While having all these resources online lightens the weight of my heavy book bag, it has over the years greatly affected my eyesight.
Medical studies, like the one conducted by the American Optometric Association, link many eye problems to the excessive usage of computers. Due to the increase of time spent using computers doctors have identified Computer Vision Syndrome, a temporary result from focusing on a computer screen for long uninterrupted periods of time.
In the 21st century, it seems as if we strive to modernize and simplify every aspect of our lives. Instead of grabbing a book, we reach for a Kindle. To get the daily news, we go to the newspaper website rather than picking up a print edition. However, if we choose to read a book or the newspaper, it is likely we would be able to read more because our eyes wouldn’t tire as quickly.
I don’t think my poor vision can be solely blamed on technology, but I do believe that it has contributed to the decline.
Once your vision declines, there is no way of improving it without a medical procedure which young adults aren’t allowed to undergo. So for the next five years, I hope that if I reduce the amount of time I spend on my phone or computer, I will be able to slow down the rapid deterioration of my eyesight.