It is no secret that a healthy lifestyle is key to a strong and functional body, but at the rate of reliance we have for technology and our concept of being “healthy” (malusog), eyeglasses for kids and adults might be in short stock sooner than we think.
Recent studies are suspecting a rise in myopia in children to be caused by smartphone use. Even in recent finding from Japan, uncorrected visual acuity in children is the highest it has ever been. The results are part of recent findings from checkups on 3.41 million children between the ages of 5-17. To give an estimate of how bad the problem is getting, the ratio of elementary kids with poor eyesight is at 32.46% (1 in 3 children), and for junior high, it is at 56.33% (half or 1 in 2 children).
This result in an increased need for eyeglasses and other optical services for kids is suspected to be because of smartphone usage especially for long periods at a time and at close range. One of the effects of too much smartphone usage in children is impaired functional vision. Since screens are 2D, overexposure to them could potentially impair a child’s 3D depth perception.
Aside from functional vision impairment, another effect of too much screen time is myopia or near-sightedness which ties up with functional vision impairment. Both circumstances can be reversed by limiting smartphone use or removing it all together until at a later age. It would also help for the kids to go outdoors because early morning sun is helpful to eye development; playing games that help depth perception like throwing balls also exercises the eyes.
Obesity is also a risk factor. Studies show some correlation between being obese and having eye problems although there is not very much literature on the causality. Since obesity causes much other complication, it can also be attributed to a certain degree that it contributes to eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, and many more. This risk factor, however, is better studied in older people as opposed to children, but since complications in obesity are almost all the time slowly built up, it could also be holistic to not ride the notion that making children fat and obese is making them “healthy.”
So with trying to lessen the chances of getting eyeglasses for your kids, start with taking the smartphones off their hands, getting them out to get some sun, and starting them on nutritious and enriching food.