"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Too much screen time is linked to the myopia epidemic in young people.

Ask anyone in regards to the advantages of technology and it probably won't take long for them to rattle off a listing of examples: it helps you expand your knowledge, connect with latest and old friends, and also you Allows you to see belongings you've never seen before. First

But what about errors? Here's the underside line: Increased screen time is tough in your eyes.

In fact, increasingly more young persons are wearing glasses to correct their vision. This trend has prompted optical health experts to find out whether the usage of electronic devices comparable to computers, tablets and smartphones is causing vision impairment that's reaching epidemic proportions.

Let's take Pauline for instance – although she could just as easily be David or Jason. She is 10 years old and a studious girl, doing well in class. Like any teenager her age, she likes to make use of her tablet computer for study or entertainment. She is on it two hours a day, plus weekends.

However, Pauline could also be ready for a change. He's recently been diagnosed with vision loss and his optometrist strongly recommends that he—and his parents—limit his use of electronic devices and spend more time playing outside.

Pauline shouldn't be completely satisfied. She thinks it's not fair.

But his case raises the query: What is the connection between the usage of electronic devices and the looks of myopia?

A public health problem

Forty percent of North Americans suffer from myopia. Number of cases Doubled between 1972 and 2004 And it's increasing at this rate. qualifies the trend as an epidemic..

In Europe, Myopia is found in 42.2% of adults aged 25 to 29 yearsAlmost double that of adults aged 55 to 59.

This suggests that an actual public health problem is upon us – and not only a standard problem of refractive error in the attention that causes blurred vision when taking a look at distance.

In fact, an excess of myopia Significantly increases the risk of major eye health disorders. comparable to retinal tear (21 times more), glaucoma (40 times) or cataracts (six times).

The eye that becomes short-sighted becomes long. Stretch is proportional. Increased myopia. As the attention expands, the retina, which lines the within the attention, becomes thinner. Symptoms comparable to fissures, abnormal growth of subretinal blood vessels and bleeding may appear.

Ultimately, a highly sighted patient has a greater than 50 percent risk of being legally blind for the remaining of his life—in other words, a 60 percent reduction in life expectancy with vision. This implies that Their eye length is more than 28 mm. (Normal length is 23 mm) or that The level of myopia is more than six diopters. (Diopters is a unit of measurement used to calculate vision – further than zero indicates a visible impairment.) To avoid these levels it is necessary to intervene before this happens.

(In Canada, Legal blindness is defined as a visual acuity of less than 20/200. In the very best eye with the assistance of spectacles or contact lenses. (So ​​a legally blind person typically sees 20 times worse than a visually impaired person.)

What is behind the epidemic?

There are many reasons for the onset of myopia. Genetics play a crucial role but so does epigenetics—the environment during which a toddler develops. A more important factor.

And what has modified in the environment to clarify the recent myopia epidemic? The impact of technology, which has accelerated lately, is being closely scrutinized.

For example, because the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, visual problems have seen a pointy increase. Although the device itself doesn't emit harmful radiation, it requires the user to read its screen at a distance of 20 cm as an alternative of the standard distance. 45 cm to 50 cm. It has been suggested that this close distance Increases the risk of developing myopia eight times.especially if each parents are myopic.

Ambient light also plays a task because Use of fluorescentAs such, it promotes myopia even in classrooms. When the pill is utilized in such an environment, its effect increases tenfold.

Unlike paper books, tablet and computer screens emit blue light. Shorter wavelengths from blue light are perceived by the attention as longer than others, causing a myopia trigger.

Unlike books printed on paper, tablet and computer screens are optically subject to so-called chromatic aberrations. The shortest wavelength (blue light) is perceived by the attention before others, making a myopia trigger. There is a dose-response effect, suggesting that longer use results in more hostile effects.

Today's youth don't play outdoors like their predecessors and are heavy users of electronics. nonetheless, Exposure to daylight has a protective effect against myopia.. These helpful effects are less, but not negligible, During the less sunny months or when Myopia is already present.

A possible solution

The goal of myopia treatment is to scale back the speed of dioptric progression, but above all to scale back the length of the attention. If, after all, we cannot play with genetics, it is necessary to influence epigenetics and subsequently the environment during which the kid develops.

Therefore, the usage of any electronic media must be avoided before the age of two years. Even if it's just for a few minutes.. A day by day limit of 1 hour must be the rule for two- to five-year-olds, and emphasis must be placed on educational sites or applications that promote parent-child interaction.

While school requests must be taken under consideration, electronic media use must be limited because the child gets older. A maximum of 1 hour must be observed aside from school work for good eye health. A two-minute break after every half-hour of device use may even reduce the harmful effects. Exposure to any device should be avoided at least one hour before going to bed.

Children must also get a minimum of 45 minutes of sunshine day by day. They can achieve this by walking to highschool or participating in activities comparable to regular outdoor sports.

The next step is to make sure the coordination of each eyes, from distance but especially up close. The optometrist might want to perform an orthopaque checkup and, through exercise or optical methods, detect any abnormalities.

Finally, the optical correction must be chosen with the aim of minimizing the breakthrough. In rare cases, glasses with anti-myopia lenses could also be prescribed. They provide a A decline rate of about 30 percent . Specialty contact lenses are sometimes preferred and supply 50 percent to 80 percent control. Contact lens treatment is obtainable from the age of seven, and will likely be reassessed periodically in line with the kid's changing needs.

In short, myopia shouldn't be just a standard vision disorder. It is a major risk factor for serious eye disease. That's why we should always do every little thing we will to slow its progression and protect our kids's vision — and meaning examining their relationship with electronic devices, too.