Is too much screen time affecting children’s eyesight? 長時間看螢幕會影響孩子的視力?

Screens and eyesight

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在多螢幕的現代社會中,孩子們的日常生活被各種電子螢幕所包圍。他們每天要做的很多事情都涉及長時間盯著一種電子設備螢幕,而有越來越多的證據表明長時間看螢幕會使孩子的視力下降,造成近視。本期《隨身英語》討論兒童長時間注視電子螢幕對視力的潛在危害。

課文內容

Vocabulary: eyesight 詞彙: 視力

These days there is so much tempting technology to look at: smartphones, tablets, computer games and TV screens. Much of our entertainment and education comes from using them, so it’s no wonder we spend so much time staring at them. But even if the saying that looking at a screen for too long gives you square eyes isn’t true, there is still some concern that it can affect your eyesight. So, should we be worried?

Certainly for children who spend hours glued to a screen there is a concern that their health might be at risk. The lack of physical activity can lead to an increase in their weight. But there is a fear that their eyesight is deteriorating too. Although there’s not much evidence to prove this yet, recent findings have opened our eyes to the issue.

Katherine Sellgren from BBC News spoke to Chris Hammond, professor of ophthalmology at King’s College London and consultant ophthalmic surgeon at St Thomas’ Hospital. He said “We know that myopia, or short-sightedness, is becoming more common… It has reached epidemic levels in East Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, where approaching 90% of 18-year-olds are now short-sighted.”

But can this be linked to children’s obsession with using electronic gadgets? Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London says lack of natural light seems to be the key issue. She’s suggested that children in East Asia study a lot, using computers, smartphones or tablets, and they are go outside less, which could be a cause of short-sightedness. Wearing glasses is one solution, but it’s not ideal.

This leads to a dilemma: achieving short-term academic success or protecting your long-term eyesight. It’s always going to be a challenge to drag children away from their screens and it’s likely that more and more studying will be done online, through a screen. But despite that, Professor Hammond says, “in countries like urban China, where 10% of children in each class per year are becoming short-sighted from about the age of six, there’s an argument for saying we should be trying to prevent it.” It’s evidence we can’t turn a blind eye to. So, maybe it’s time to hit the ‘off’ button and get our children outside?

詞彙表

square eyes “眼睛變方了”,看電視上癮
glued to (something) 全神貫注地盯著…看
deteriorate 變差
opened one’s eyes 使某人認清、了解(某事)
ophthalmology 眼科學
ophthalmic 眼科的
myopia 近視
short-sightedness 近視
epidemic 大範圍擴散
short-sighted 近視的
ophthalmologist 眼科醫師
natural light 自然光
glasses 眼鏡
turn a blind eye 視而不見

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to an old saying, how do you get square eyes?

2. What is thought to prevent children from becoming short-sighted?

3. True or false? Children in East Asia who wear glasses are becoming more short-sighted.

4. Which word used in the article means ‘to make someone do something they do not want to do’?

5. Why might children have to look at screens for long periods of time?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. My husband’s always ______ the TV when the football is on!

glued on       glued to      glued with      glue to

2. There’s an ______ of chicken pox at school so they’ve decided to close it.

myopia      deterioration                       epidemic      ophthalmic

3. The new extension to the back of our house means we now get lots of ______.

natural light      night light      nature light      natural lights

4. Weather conditions are ______ so we have decided to turn around and sail back to the harbour.

decorating      deteriorated      deteriorate      deteriorating

5. My holiday to Vietnam really ______ to the beauty of the country.

turned a blind eye      opened my eyes      square eyes      myopia

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to an old saying, how do you get square eyes?
By looking at a screen for too long.

2. What is thought to prevent children from becoming short-sighted?
Going outside and getting natural daylight.

3. True or false? Children in East Asia who wear glasses are becoming more short-sighted.
False. Short-sightedness has reached epidemic levels in East Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea but wearing glasses is one solution to the problem.

4. Which word used in the article means ‘to make someone do something they do not want to do’?
Drag. (It’s always going to be a challenge to drag children away from their screens.)

5. Why might children have to look at screens for long periods of time?
To study.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. My husband’s always glued to the TV when the football is on!

2. There’s an epidemic of chicken pox at school so they’ve decided to close it.

3. The new extension to the back of our house means we now get lots of natural light.

4. Weather conditions are deteriorating so we have decided to turn around and sail back to the harbour.

5. My holiday to Vietnam really opened my eyes to the beauty of the country.

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