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Dad, Mom: I want a smartphone! … the door to myopia

"Our future: we will be myopic"

The world is facing a kind of epidemic that is advancing of inexorably form among young people.

If the habits of using digital devices and lifestyle are not changed, in the next 32 years, more than half of the world’s population will be myopic. The data was disclosed by the American Society of Ophthalmology. The forecast is that, by 2050, more than five billion people will need glasses or contact lenses to see at a distance.

The biggest victims of this phenomenon are children. And the parents who bring their children for a check-up, year after year, ask us the same question: When will my son’s myopia stop?

Spanish children are the most myopic of the old continent. If in the rest of Europe there is an incidence of 35 percent among school children, in Spain we have 40 percent of boys and girls who suffer from this vision disorder. (source: FEDAO)

90% of teenagers in China are already myopic

Hypnotized by the screen

Most of the medical profession was already expecting the result. In the offices, the number of myopic people is increasing absurdly. We almost no longer use distance vision and the peripheral vision of young people has little use. The central vision, more detailed, is used for close up, and after several hours of fixation, our eyes are blocked at that distance.

When we lived in the time of the caves, we did not read, nor were there computers, mobile phones or WhatsApp. We hunted, used close-up vision only to chip stones or see food. Today, the inner eye muscle has learned to live in small spaces, usually smaller than 5m. It is not like the heart muscle, which begins to work in the first weeks of life and only rests when we die. The eye muscle gets tired with 50 minutes of close-up work .

What role do parents play?

For many parents it is a challenge, a tireless task that daily exhausts. As always it is about educating … and the first step, and the most important one, is to raise awareness, because if you do not take on board that something is being done wrong, it will never change.

Could something be done about it? Is it possible to slow down its progress? Yes it is. We all know that electronic devices have many advantages, the problem comes from excess and misuse. Here are some recommendations to show the way:

child myopia
  • Mainly for children and teenagers, it is to give priority to outdoor activities.
  • Practice some outdoor sport. If you already wear glasses, a good option to keep in mind is to wear contact lenses. Many children from 8 to 9 years old, and under the supervision of parents, can wear them.
  • Inevitably limit the hours of use of phones, tablets or computers.
  • Take care that they always have ambient lighting, never in the dark.
  • Take breaks every 20 min.
  • Review of the annual eye-test.

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