The Coronavirus Pandemic has also damaged the health of our eyes. According to studies conducted in our country, it is revealed that myopic refractive error increases especially in children. Kızılay Kartal Hospital Ophthalmology and Surgery Specialist Op. Dr. Ayfer ERTÜRK called out to parents and warned that myopia will occur in most of the children if no precautions are taken.
With quarantine, working from home and distance education, many children have started to use their tablets, mobile phones and computers more. But are parents aware that this can cause serious visual impairment in children?
If necessary precautions are not taken, serious visual impairments may occur in children.
Myopia and Myopia Disorder
Kızılay Kartal Hospital Ophthalmology and Surgery Specialist Op. Dr. Ayfer ERTÜRK, “Myopia is the inability to see far clearly due to the structure of the eye being longer than normal. In myopia, the rays coming into the eye are focused in front of the retina, not on it. People with myopia have difficulty seeing distant objects and signs, but they can clearly see objects that are close. This is because people use screens very intensely, both for work, education and leisure time. Moreover, as a result of staying at home for a long time, not being able to do outdoor sports by going out to the sun and vitamin D deficiency in children, especially in adolescence, also supported the increase in myopic.
The sooner myopia starts, the faster it progresses.
Kiss. Dr. Ayfer ERTÜRK, “Twenty years from now, about half of the world's population can be expected to be myopic. The increase in myopia is due to the very early and intensive use of computers, smartphones and tablets, as well as the gradual shortening of the time spent outside during the day. The risk of myopia increases not only with a smartphone or a book, but also with prolonged staring at an object at close range. The risk of myopia decreases with the time spent outside. This is because daylight prevents the pupil from growing further. Research shows that while myopia cases increase during the dark seasons, the increase slows down in the sunnier times of the year.
What Precautions Should We Take to Prevent Increasing Myopia in Children?
Kızılay Kartal Hospital Ophthalmology and Surgery Specialist Op. Dr. Ayfer ERTÜRK, “restriction of close activities as much as possible, taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking into the distance to rest the eyes, spending at least one hour a day outdoors in daylight, good lighting of the child's study room at home, not being dim, children's use of smartphones and tablets. The duration of use should be limited and the duration of use should not exceed 30-45 minutes. The use of smartphones and tablets should be strictly avoided for children up to the age of three. In the four-six age group, smartphone and tablet use should not exceed 45 minutes, and should be limited to a maximum of one hour a day in primary school age. Exceeding these periods may increase the risk of myopia, as well as irritate the eyes of children, cause dry eyes and trigger blurred vision.