How Technology is increasing the risk of Short-Sightedness in Children today

Posted on: October 31, 2018

 

Mobile phones in particular have become a widespread part of modern life today. Children today are the fastest growing population of smartphone users. 9-16 year olds now use smartphones more than any other devices to access the internet.

But how is this affecting our eyes? While short-sightedness is caused by both genetics and our environment, our modern lifestyles are now one of the main causes for an increase in short-sightedness (myopia). Recent studies suggest that an alarming one in two people will be affected by this by 2050, which is very worrying.

As we know blurred vision can be easily solved by using glasses, contact lenses or by having surgery. However it is now also a major health concern. It is one of the top three causes of blindness in Ireland and parts of Europe. It is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in Europe.

It does not help that most schools now use ipads and there is an increasing emphasis on education (this means spending a lot of time doing near work) and less emphasis is now being placed on sport and recreation outdoors. So to prevent more myopia spend less time on phones and try to focus more on targets in the distance e.g watch TV across the room rather than on your phone or tablet and this is particularly important for 7-12 year olds.

Short-sighted students spend almost twice the amount of time looking at smartphones compared to students who are not short-sighted according to a study carried out by DIT in 2018.

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