Myopia, or short sightedness, is one of the most prevalent conditions among school children in India. According to The North India Myopia Study (NIM Study), nearly 13.1% children suffer from myopia and have problem in seeing objects that are placed at a certain distance. Although children can have this ocular disorder due to various reasons, excessive use of gadgets from an early age is arguably the primary cause.

Doctors at Nayati Healthcare state that children below the age of 10 years who are dependent on gadgets prefer to stay at home and use mobile, television, pads, etc, for their leisure and rejuvenation. Instead of indulging in physical activities, the school children are constantly dependent on different types of gadgets. In addition, the screen time of children between the age bracket of 10 to 15 years is constantly increasing due to new mobile games, academic conceptual videos, and the fear of social acceptance.

 Due to the high screen time, their eyes are under constant strain from the excessive blue light exposure emitted from gadgets. The use of gadgets is not just addictive, but it forms a lifestyle habit which is heavily dependent on the use of technology and gadgets, thereby making the child prone to eye diseases such as myopia, computer vision syndrome, dry eyes, etc. 

While the world of school children continues to shrink to the size of a digital screen, experts at Nayati Healthcare suggest that parents should try and implement the following preventive measures so as to protect their children from myopia:

  • Regular Breaks: It is nearly impossible to stop the use of gadgets. Instead, parents can ensure that regular breaks of 10-15 minutes are taken every hour  

  • Blink: Constantly staring at the screen without blinking makes the eyes dry, which can cause serious problems. Children must blink their eyes regularly while using mobiles and pads

  • Dimmer: Turn on the screen dimmer while reading a book, article, or scrolling through social media, to protect yourself from the harmful blue light

  • Regular Checkup: Due to frequent gadget use, it is imperative that children are taken for regular eye tests. If spectacles are needed, parents must do the needful. 

  • 20-20-20: School children must remember this rule that after every 20 minutes, they should focus at something located at a distance of 20 feet for at least 20 seconds 

  • Good sitting posture: Children while studying should keep their back straight and should refrain from studying in bad posture like bending down towards books or lying down and studying.

  • Physical activity: Children should play outdoor games atleast one hour for more exposure to sunlight.

 

Myopia, at an early age, can lead to weak eyes and eyesight issues in the long run. High level of myopia in long run leads to retinal breaks and detachment in some cases along with myopic maculopathy. Thus, it is strongly recommended that school children & parents realize the negative impact of long screen time and balance the quotient of gadget use and outdoor activities. 

 

Published by Qais Ahmadi