I Can(‘t) See Clearly Now: Smart Phones and Vision

Short-Sighted Attitudes Lead to Short-sightedness?

baby_with_a_laptopOur constant perusal of messages on smartphones is sending the rates of myopia or near-sightedness soaring….we are paying the price of our short-sighted attitude about the impact of smartphones on our lives!

According to Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, a specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, progressive myopia, i.e. the worsening of young patients’ vision as they age, is twice as common in primary school children than 50 years ago.  What this means in everyday terms is that the number of children being referred to optometrists in London for myopia has increased; primary school children who are nearsighted has risen from seven percent in the Sixties to 16.4% currently.

It’s NOT the Genetic Code….it’s the Code of Practice!

eye_chartWhile myopia is genetic and does run in families, a child using a smartphone or iPad 4-plus hours a day and not seeing the light of day can be controlled.  It would appear that pepole who study a lot, or are on devices constantly miss out on the impact of direct sunlight (or at least daylight) on eye growth, especially in the early years.

Another issue is parents self-treating the problem – some going abroad for studies, while others buy certain eyedrops online.  Parents are also asking for special contact lenses to re-shape the cornea overnight, but they carry a high risk of infection.

The prescription need not be so expensive or risky…..sending your children out to play is a much cheaper and healthier option!

Do as I Do……

water-fight-dad-three-childrenChanging your own relationship with your smartphone is the easiest way to instill a different pattern of behaviour in your children.  Remember:  children watch EVERYthing we do and REMEMBER.  If you exhibit good habits with regard to your smartphone use (and spend time outdoors with your children),  you will not only save your child’s sight…but your own – a win-win situation!