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Vast development of myopia among children: Optometrist

15 November 2023 10:06 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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COLOMBO (Daily Mirror) - Due to visual stress or diseases like diabetes or cataracts, there is a vast increase in myopia among children as well as adults, Senior Optometrist and Ceylon Council of Optometry and Orthoptics Chairman Chanaka Bandara Weerasundara said.

After an event to conduct their annual free eye check-up camp at the Colombo Public Library to mark World Diabetes Day, which fell yesterday (14), Weerasundara told the Daily Mirror that with a recent study estimating that on average 30% of the world is currently myopic and by 2050, almost 50% will be myopic, it will be a staggering five billion people.

Genetic factors have an interaction with environmental factors in myopia development. Spending time outdoors has a protective effect on the onset of myopia and may slow its progression. Different wavelengths of light can affect ocular growth differently.

Researchers have found that children exposed to digital screens before age three are more likely to develop myopia. The longer children look at digital screens, the less they blink, which causes the eyes to dry out.

However, according to latest research, it is recommended to get two hours of sunlight a day to help children avoid developing myopia.

Without proper medications, the myopia condition can develop into high myopia, which happens when a child's eyeballs stretch and grow too long.

The majority of people suffering from refractive errors are those who are more than 40 years of age.

Therefore, Weerasundara requested people to engage in eye check-ups after reaching the age of 40 due to presbyopia.

Presbyopia is the loss of clear close-up vision due to age-related changes to the eye's lens.

During the eye check-up camp, people were made aware of eye diseases due to diabetes.

People were requested to check their children's eyes at their pre-school age (three and a half years) and before enrolling in grade one for them to recover from various errors.

Therefore, the Association has started a programme to conduct eye clinics for all schoolchildren as a part of the programme by the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We have completed an eye check-up of all schools in the Puttalam district and have started in the Anuradhapura district. The children who needed spectacles were provided with them free of charge.

Weerasundara also requested people who have suffered from diabetes for more than three or four years to get their eyes, including the interior of their eyes, checked at least once a year.


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  Comments - 2

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  • Nilmini Welivita Thursday, 16 November 2023 01:44 AM

    A country full of short sighted politicians and people.

    Umar Perera Thursday, 16 November 2023 07:57 AM

    The rise in myopia, especially among young children is being observed worldwide and is mostly due to malnutrition, lack of exposure to sunlight and too much screen time. The last two are linked.


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