Read this article fully to find the cause of myopia and experts opinion on it. In this modern era, where our eyes are glued to devices, people are suffering from a common eyesight problem – myopia.
A tidal wave of myopia or short-sightedness has been found to be sweeping across East Asian countries with up to 90% of youngsters affected.
You would’ve often heard from others to stop looking at the computer for so long or your eyes will be damaged or develop myopia. Well, this is not true.
Recent studies suggest that it is a lack of exposure to bright light outdoors that could be one of the primary causes behind the worrying trend – myopia.
Cause of myopia:
Chairman of Centre for Sight Dr. Mahipal Sachdev says the cause of myopia directly links youngsters with excessive “near-vision work”.
“The eye is actually constructed for distant vision. However, youngsters today spend the majority of their waking hours watching television, working on computers, playing video games or IPads leading to a massive increase in cases of myopia. In India, around 14% to 18% of the total population is believed to be suffering from myopia. Youngsters hardly use their eyes to look into the distance,” Dr. Sachdev said.
Myopia in major countries:
A study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, on Friday said myopia affects between 80% to 90% of school-leaving students in major places like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. Around 10% to 20% of these people have ‘high’ myopia, which can eventually lead to vision loss, visual impairment, and even blindness.
Indians need to be worried since the paper says in Singapore the three major ethnic groups (Chinese, Indian, Malays) have all seen sharp rises since 1996, suggesting similar sensitivity to the risk factors to which they are all exposed.
Blue rays from computer only cause strain on the eyes which is temporary and is not the leading cause of myopia. You need to take more frequent breaks while working on your computer and remember to blink. Ophthalmologists recommend taking a 20-second break from work every 20 minutes. Extended reading, writing or other intensive near work can also cause eye strain.
How to prevent eyestrain:
Strain from a computer can be managed by buying blue cut lenses which block blue light from visible light from reaching our eyes OR by following these steps:
- Maintain 40 to 80 centimeter distance from the screen.
- Blink often. While continuously looking at the screen we forget to do it regularly.
- Adjust font size on your computer to read easily without straining your eyes.
- After 20 minutes working on computer look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give rest to your eye muscles.
How to prevent myopia:
“If your parents are myopic, there is more than 50% chance the children too will suffer from it. Risk of retinal degeneration is common in myopics and can lead to detachment,” Dr. Sachdev said.
Many surveys have shown that increased amounts of time outdoors protect against the development of myopia. Trials are on in Singapore and China to test the effect of increased outdoor exposure as a prevention measure.
To sum up, it becomes mandatory to play or walk outside. And not just for your eyes but also for your body’s health. From day to night we spend a vast amount of hours sitting which makes us lazy and dull, suffer from depression which destroys our body’s health slowly but surely. So playing should be given as much importance as studying to bring out the best from ourselves.