Protect your kids’ eyes from developing myopia | By Dr Jahanzeb Durrani

38

Protect your kids’ eyes from developing myopia


MYOPIA is popularly known as short-sightedness. According to American Academy of Eye Surgeons, a worlds’ largest association of 32,000 doctors, who have set the standard for providing highest-quality of treatment about eye health.

During COVID-19 pandemic, classrooms were shut and digital learning started resulting in a marked increase in kids suffering from eye strain, tired and dry eyes, headaches and blurry vision.

Tired, because of increased screen time, through watching TV, Laptops, tablets and smart mobiles.

Parents are most worried and seek advice from an eye specialist to get relief.

Normally, children don’t blink while using the computers, leaving the eyes with the above symptoms which can be avoided by taking a few simple steps.

Academy recommends taking a 20 seconds break from computers and near work after every 20 minutes.

Following are some tips to help the kids and the parents to follow: 1. Use a timer device to remind the child to take a break after every 20 minutes.

Replace the e-book with a real book alternatively. After every one or two chapters, encourage children to leave the computers and look out of the window or simply shut their eyes for 20 seconds.

The easiest way is to clip the chapter which will serve as bookmark effect.

Use the digital device at an arm’s length,(about 18 to 24 inches away ) from where they are sitting.

Set up a “home office” for your kids in order to maintain a proper posture to get relief from the eye strain.

To reduce glare from the screen, the light source should come from the back of the child and not behind the computer screen.

Adjust the brightness and contrast on the screen so that the child feels comfortable.

Do not brightly lit the rooms or keep the room dark which causes discomfort. Close the device 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime as blue light from the computer may disrupt your sleep, better put it on the “night mode” to reduce blue light exposure. Lastly, make sure that the kids participate in outdoor activities.

It has been proved that overuse of computer and extra near work can induce Myopia (near sightedness) responsible for the worldwide epidemic of using spectacles in children.

However, several studies have suggested that spending time outdoors, especially in early childhood helps avoid the development of Myopia.

—The writer is an eye specialist in Maroof International Hospital, Islamabad.