Technology Addiction is leading to an increase in children needing glasses to help with vision.
A study by Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital in collaboration with the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health finds that school children are at a high-risk of refractive errors in India. The study attributes it mostly to the use of handheld devices.
Mrs Bakula Kashyap, an ophthalmologist, said, “Most small children are hypermetropic (long-sightedness) because they have small eyeballs and when these eyeballs continue to grow that is when the patient will have myopia. A lot of studies have come, especially in the last 5-10 years after hand-held devices came into our lives which tell that a large number of children are becoming myopic as a result of using hand-held devices, and now it has been confirmed beyond doubt.”
The World Health Organisation’s report of 2015 says that myopia is prevalent in India and will increase tremendously by 2050.
Preeti Shukla, the mother of a victim, said, “She is just 13 years old, and her power is -2.5. She was diagnosed with myopia in an eye test which was being carried out in her school. She uses mobile all the time and watches videos on YouTube. She even studies in dim light which also affected her eyes severely.”
According to the WHO, a refractive error occurs when the eye cannot focus the images from the outside world. The result of refractive errors is blurred vision, which is sometimes so severe that it causes visual damage.
Opticians say that most customers belong to younger age groups. Mr Shravan, an optician, said, “Most of the customers which we get are 10-15 years old.”
The age of the study subjects ranged from 7 to 15 years. Over 50 per cent in age groups of 13-15 years has myopia, while hypermetropia was observed in 57.1% among 7-9 years kids.
Ophthalmologist says that people in our country tend to copy western culture without learning from their mistakes.
“In our country, unfortunately, we wake up a little late. It is regrettable that in our country even small children are given mobile phones, even notes are sent to children on WhatsApp. So, this kind of irresponsibility will have drastic consequences,” said Mrs Bakula Kashyap.
Experts say that extreme use of electronic devices is mostly affecting the children now.