Myopia can lead to eye problems and loss of vision, says expert

The LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) on Tuesday launched various awareness-raising activities to fight against myopia, as part of Children’s Eye Care Week.

Increased digital exposure of children during the COVID-19 pandemic, the indoor-centric lifestyle has deprived children of sunlight and outdoor activities, leading to myopia. Shorter sleep duration and poor nutrition are also associated with myopia. Children with a family history of myopia have a higher risk of developing myopia.

“Undiagnosed and untreated nearsightedness (myopia) can delay milestones in children and negatively impact their academic performance, participation in extracurricular activities, and social behavior. Children with myopia are at a higher risk of develop retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts and other eye diseases,” Dr. Virender Sachdeva, director of Dr. Nimmagadda Prasad Children’s Eye Care Center, LVPEI, said in a statement.

“Myopia is a serious public health problem and, if no anti-myopia prevention and control measures are initiated, it is expected to affect approximately half of the world’s population (5 billion) by 2050. The increase in myopia is rapid in children, who develop myopia at a young age,” he adds.

Lifestyle modifications, bifocal or progressive spectacle lenses, special contact lenses and medication (eye drops) are some of the treatment measures to prevent the onset of myopia and reduce its progression. Doctors recommend spending less time in front of a screen and more time in a green environment.

Some of the other precautions to take include: an annual eye exam and participating in outdoor activities during the day. Parents and teachers should be aware so that they can detect early signs of myopia and have children examined by a qualified ophthalmologist.

A march to promote “eye care awareness” is said to take place on Beach Road on November 20.

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