Senior eye specialists from the city speaking to Pune 365, said that they have noticed an increased number of children with vision related problems.
Excessive screen time, lack of adequate physical activity and imbalanced diets are predominant problems, genetic predisposition is also one of the important reasons for poor vision. This includes myopia, presbyopia and astigmatism. all of which require correction.
Around 30-40 percent children are found to have vision related issues needing correction with spectacles etc. Apparently. people of Asian origin are much more likely to be myopic or short sightedness.
There is no treatment that can prevent myopia, but wearing glasses does not make myopia worse reads a research paper released by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London. It is important that get regular eye tests as myopia can get worse as one grows.
“The increase in screen time for the current generation may increase the ability to focus on near or intermediate targets.
The older generation had more play time with outdoor games. These required focusing on objects at a distance.
Therefore, the eyes needed to focus on distant objects; On the other hand the eyes of the current generation need to focus on near/ intermediate targets rendering the eyes short-sighted or unable to see distant objects clearly,” says Dr. Savita Bhat Consultant Opthalmologist, Chellaram Hospitals, Diabetes Care and Multispecialty Hospital.
Children between 6-10 years of age form the majority of patients with eye related issues. Children below six are rarely able to express their eyesight problems and are often picked up through disorders noticed by patents/ grandparents or teachers.
“Increased screen time including games has added to the increase in eye diseases in children. This is not so for adults though. The technology boom which has been a boon in many ways has been a bane to our generation next.
Conducting school screening camps on a regular basis will help increase awareness about eye diseases amongst parents and will also help screen the children annually. The burden to correct these disorders and the health check-ups required will see an increase though..
Most of the children come to us with blurred vision, few with headache and a small percentage with dry eyes,” shares Dr Bhat.
Increase in the cases of short sightedness would also mean that recruitment to jobs such as the defence sector and merchant navy will drop since they demand a 6/6 vision capability.
Contrary to popular belief, Vitamin A will not make the eye shorter, explains Dr Bhat. “ Dietary variations will not change the shape of the eye, nor will an overdose of Vitamin A reduce/ affect the vision power. A normal eye has a particular length. An eye with short sight is longer than a normal eye. Just like a child grows taller during growth phase and not shorter,” she adds.
Healthy Vision Tips:
Monitoring and restricting screen time. Restricting screen time might help to lower the impact of gadgets in children. Screen time may also be capable of causing behavioural changes in children.
Increase the amount of outdoor games or structured games.
Having a balanced diet, including green leafy vegetables in the child’s diet.
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