19 Jan 2017, 08:34 — 4 min read
Myopia (short-sightedness) is a growing bane in the life of many people today. Spending hours at the office, gazing at a computer screen and then spending a few hours reading or watching TV is quite a common practice for entrepreneurs and busy professionals. However, this practice is not conducive to promoting good eyesight for the long term. The problem starts young. Over the last few decades, life has become more sedentary for children and incidences of increased myopia begin from there.
To address the growing menace of commonplace myopia, we should take simple steps that address the problem at its root - at childhood. This should be done so that the next generation does not suffer from the same myopic haze of previous generations that was brought about by the digital revolution and increased prevalence of technology in our lives.
The rise in cases of myopia
The incidence of children suffering from short-sightedness (myopia) is increasing day by day. With the increasing use of laptop, mobile phones and Kindle, more and more children’s eyes are being affected. The use of mobile phones for playing games has surpassed all other things in becoming the number one reason for the eyes of children getting weak. The use of mobile phones for playing games especially in dim light or in moving vehicles is most likely to make eyes weaker in children.
Early onset of preventable myopia in children can lead to high degree of weaker eyes in their later years. Watching TV for long hours is also one of the reasons for weaker eyes in children. Ideally, watching TV should be restricted to 1-2 hours a day for a child of 3-5 years. Watching TV for longer hours affects the physical development of the child. Watching TV for more than three hours regularly could make the child less inclined to outdoor physical activities.
Children between the age group of 3-5 years are more susceptible to preventable myopia. Inculcating the habit of reading books and playing outdoors will do more good than harm caused by getting hooked to TV or mobile games.
Computer games are also becoming a common cause of increasing incidence of weaker eyes in children. In most of the cases, preliminary eye check up in schools brings about a majority of cases of weaker eyes being detected. Therefore an eye check up camp serves a very important role in the school.
Do’s & don’ts of primary eye care
1) Never encourage your child to play mobile games only for the sake of keeping them busy. Indulging them in physical activities and board games offer much more than just mental and physical development.
2) Never allow your child to watch TV while lying down. They should sit in a straight posture to watch TV and that too in proper light.
3) If your child blinks more than normal, an early eye examination by an optometrist/ophthalmologist is a must.
4) If your child keeps his book very close to eyes while reading; he/she may be suffering from weaker eyes.
5) Look for any deviation of the eyeball when a child looks straight at a very far away object.
6) If your child’s eyes water a lot while reading or watching TV, get them examined as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
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