Updated: Jun 8, 2021
There has been a increased prevalence of #Myopia/ #Nearsightedness in the last 20 years and its predicted that half of the total world population is predicted to be myopic in another 20 to 30 years. This Myopia Awareness Week, as an accountable Optometrist am in creating awareness about #Myopia is my prior responsibility.
Increase in minus power is directly associated with increased #visual impairment. When half of the world population is predicted to be near sighted, the risk of visual impairment also proportionately increases. This will directly impact the quality of life and the visual impairment / blindness burden on the world as a whole.
A lot of research and many on going research are being done world wide to control the surge of #nearsightedness. So what does the science say? Here are the top causes of the surge in #nearsightedness / #Myopia.
MODE OF EDUCATION AND EXTENSIVE NEAR WORK
Extensive near work leads to strain causing stress on the Intraocular lens which will be in a tension state in contrast to relaxed state when looking at distance.
It is observed that more of #nearsighteness is prevalent with children who do loads of home works, and who gets educated with sophisticated class room technologies than children who gets education from government schools.
LIMITED / NIL OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Exposure to sunlight is very important as it releases dopamine, an axial length growth inhibitor responsible for elongation of eye ball. Out door light intensities and ultra violet light exposure contributes to the inhibition of eye ball growth as well. Seasonal difference with progression of power more in winter than summer have also been found which clearly suggest low illumination levels because of limited or nil out door activities increases power progression.
More of #Myopia prevalence has been reported with Asian children than children of European origin. Also children of China and Singapore are reported to have #myopia than children of India or Malaysia. This can also be attributed to the lifestyle changes as Malaysian children spend more outdoor time than children of Singapore. Nevertheless In India the progression of #myopia and its prevalence is predicted to be higher in near future (48% by 2050). The below image shows Current and projected 2050 myopia prevalence by region.
Pic Courtesy: Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(5):1036-1042.)
Having one or two parents with myopia increases the risk of myopia in children. The risk is more when both the parents are myopic.
The genetic predisposition has been well documented. So it is always better to take your child for myopia consultation when either or both parents are #Myopic or #Nearsighted.
Life Style Changes
Children of today are more active visually than physically. Education, Skills development, Shopping, and gadgets usage during leisure time have changed the way eyes are meant to be working. With fast evolving lifestyle modification and nuclear families especially when both parents work, children spend most of the time with gadgets to engage themselves. More over this pandemic (Covid -19) has restricted children within four walls highly curtailed their distance vision inducing minus power in children who are prone to but not otherwise having #myopia and this is termed as #QuarentineMyopia
All these factors have led to increased prevalence of myopia/ nearsightedness. But together We shall control and prevent #myopia. If you notice your child having eyestrain, watching objects, television, books at closer distance than usual, squeezing of eyes, talk to your Optometrist to know whether he/she has #myopia. Take your child to regular eye examination to control progression of #myopia.