About 50% of our children will be myopic by 2050: Experts

Undetected myopia can impact children's academics, social interactions and overall quality of life and well-being
COVID-19 pandemic has added to increased exposure to screens
COVID-19 pandemic has added to increased exposure to screens(Image: EdexLive Desk)

Prolonged use of screens such as smartphones, computers, laptops or TVs has led to an increased risk of myopia, especially among children, experts have suggested.

Dr Rajesh Prabhu, explained, "Myopia (short-sightedness) that was once thought to be a minor eye problem, has now become a growing global health problem. Prolonged use of digital devices and reduced outdoor activities are important risk factors for the surge of myopia patients around the world apart from family history of myopia.”

Undetected myopia can impact the children in their academics, social interactions and overall quality of life and well-being, Dr Prabhu added.

The pandemic of COVID-19 has added to this increased exposure to screens as more time was spent on smartphones for online schooling.

Dr Neepa Thacker Dave, Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, said, "Myopia is the new epidemic, and it is predicted that 50% of our children will be myopic by 2050. Our children are developing myopia early, the myopia is progressing at a faster rate and the number of children with higher levels of myopia is increasing. The higher the myopia the more the chances are that they will face glaucoma and retina issues when they grow older. Suggestions to reduce myopia are to eat well, sleep well, stay away from small screens, and spend a lot of time outdoors when there is sunlight."

It was estimated, in an article published in 2020, that myopia prevalence globally could reach 52% in the next three decades, which is alarming.

Early detection and timely intervention are effective in controlling the development and progression of myopia. Children's screen time should be restricted and they should be encouraged to play outdoors rather than playing with smartphones, experts added.

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