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Managing Myopia And Other Vision Errors Among Children And Youngsters : Dr. Krishna Prasad Kudlu

Our dependency on digital devices has increased our screen time substantially. And more so among the  millennials, which is possibly one of the reasons why we are seeing rising cases of myopia among  younger lots. Although there are no official figures of people suffering from vision errors, we are coming  across more and more teenagers visiting us with complaints of vision problems. The vision errors are  broadly classified into three types: Myopia (Near sightedness), Hyperopia (Far Sightedness) and  Astigmatism (Blurred vision)

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We have been offering eye care treatments to people of our region for more than two decades however  the recent upsurge in number of cases of vision problems among children and teenagers is indeed  alarming. The link between increased screen time and vision errors can be vindicated in two ways, firstly  the exposure of children to higher screen time indirectly implies that the outdoor time of kids has  reduced drastically. It is believed that exposure to natural day light is critical to development of eyes.  The ongoing pandemic is not helping this either, while we are concerned about spread of infection it is  important to establish a balance between the amount of time spent indoors and time exposed to  natural light.  

The second problem stems from the intensity with which kids focus on screen activity. Our eyes need  breaks from close-up focus and children often lose track of time when they get absorbed. Blue light from  computer screens and other digital devices are high energy visible lights with shorter wavelengths  causing digital strain. Although there are minimal studies performed in this regard since developing  children cannot be subjected for scientific studies, the observational evidences clearly prove that eye  strains in developing eyes induces progression of myopia and other vision errors more prominently.  

We suggest parents to keep a check on the screen time spent by children on digital devices, alongside it  is also important that children get enough exposure to natural day light in order to maintain healthy  eyes. It is highly advisable to avoid the chances of inducing vision error right from the young age.  Parents need to take their children for frequent eye examinations to ensure that vision problems are not  progressing. 

Once the vision error is induced in an individual, it further progresses or stabilizes depending on diet and care. However, the person will remain dependent on aids like spectacles or contact lenses for clear  vision. Many millennials who lived through digital era are having vision problems and now many of them  entering their twenties find it extremely cumbersome to manage their eyeglasses. Youngsters these  days are perceiving diverse hobbies and look forward to an active lifestyle and spectacles are a big  hindrance to them. In the ongoing pandemic phase, wearing masks poses a new challenge of foggy  glasses for spectacle wearers. We receive many enquiries everyday seeking solution for spectacle  freedom by young patients.  

The only way to correct the vision error; ending the need for dependence on eyeglasses is through laser based procedures. For grown up adults, above 18 years of age whose power has remained stable for at  least a year’s time are eligible to undergo laser-based procedure for vision correction. There are  different laser-based procedures available as of today, the most common one being LASIK which has  been around for more than two decades now and is time tested. The youngsters however prefer more  advanced procedure like SMILE® due to its painless nature and faster recovery time. SMILE® is the only  flap free laser vision correction technique and there is no usage of blade in this procedure, making it highly popular among the youngsters. We have treated thousands of patients with laser-based  procedures offering a lifetime freedom from eyeglasses.  

P.S: World sight day 2020 will be observed on 08th October 2020, awareness on vision has been always  important however this year owing to pandemic many people have delayed their eye care treatments,  in some cases even cataract surgeries are being delayed by patients’ in fear of COVID, I would suggest  patients and their dear ones to not ignore eye related ailments and play their roles responsibly in fight  against blindness. 

Dr. Krishna Prasad Kudlu
Dr. Krishna Prasad Kudlu

Director, Prasad Netralaya, Udupi & Mangaluru

Mangalore

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