Let Sun be your child’s friend to prevent Myopia progression

Dr Amit Gupta, MBBS.MS DNB, Kapil Eye Hospital, Ambala City quoted “Myopia or short sightedness is a condition which the near objects appear clear, but the distance objects appear blurry. The proportion of children suffering from myopia is increasing at an alarming rate. Up to 25% of children are affected by myopia in India and it is expected to reach roughly 50% of population worldwide by the year 2050.

Lifestyle modification: The children should be encouraged to spend at least a couple of hours outside daily and refrain from using screen devices like mobile phones, laptop etc. They can be taken to parks or to make them join sports or any other activity which provides them outdoor exposure. The classrooms need to design in a way to allow exposure to outdoor light. Artificial light is no substitute for natural light”.

In India there has been observed a constant rising trend in cases of Myopia in all age groups and in rural as well as in urban set up. As per a study, cases of Myopia had risen from 4.6% to 6.8% in a decade in rural children. Myopia prevalence in urban India has been projected to spike to 48% by 2050. Though Indians are a low progressing cohort (-0.3 D/year) as compared to the East Asian (-0.6 to -0.8 D/year), the rising numbers of Myopes cannot be ignored. As per the guidelines published by All India Ophthalmological Society 40 to 120 minutes of outdoor time is associated with reduced incidence of Myopia.

Thus, schools should include the specific period for outdoor activities in their curriculum for children. Also, parents should encourage their kids to play more outside than playing indoors and reduce screen time on playing with gadgets.

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