As many as 27.5 crore Indians, or nearly 23% of the population, saw their eyesight weakening because of excessive screen time, even though other factors such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration also impacted the eyesight, said a study.
The average screen time per user stood at 6 hours and 36 minutes in India in 2020, much below various countries but still enough to impact a large population base. While the daily average screen time was higher in nearly two dozen countries, including the Philippines (10:56 hrs), Brazil (10:08 hrs), South Africa (10:06 hrs), US (07:11 hrs) and New Zealand (06:39 hrs), it is India where the impact on eyesight had been widespread, possibly due to a larger population base.
The report noted that lockdowns and social distancing had been major contributors to the growth in screen time as people stayed locked at home for long periods.
“India was found to have the biggest correlation between screen time and an increased rate of vision loss… (and) deteriorating vision,” said the report by UK’s Feel-Good Contacts that collated data from various sources such as Lancet Global Health, WHO, and screentime tracker DataReportal.
Population size and density seemed to have a big impact. “China represents an outlier on the list, as hours spent online are few but rates of vision loss are high,” the report said, pointing out the average 5 hours and 22 minutes spent with the screen by users in the country, which impacted 27.4 crore people, or14.1% of the population.