1. What is myopia?
Myopia is a medical term for short-sightedness or near-sightedness. A person with myopia can clearly see objects close to the eye, but he or she will have difficulty seeing objects that are far from the eye.
2. Why should myopia be alarming?
- Myopia is becoming more common across the world
- 5 of every 10 individuals are likely to develop myopia by the year 2050
- Even in India, the number of kids developing myopia is gradually increasing
- Myopia can cause severe vision problems in the long term
3. When will myopia occur?
- Children over 5 years are at risk of being affected by myopia.
- Myopia is commonly caused due to unstable growth of the eyes.
- In younger children, myopia progresses more quickly because their eyes are growing at a faster rate, leading to higher levels of myopia, thicker glasses and more risk to the vision.
4. What are the chances of you developing myopia?
- With one or both parents being myopic, a child has a higher risk of myopia
- Reading in dim illumination
- Doing a near task such as sewing, reading a small font or for a long time or using digital platforms (ex: mobile phone) specially holding the phone or tablet close to the eyes for an extended duration
- Recent research has also indicated that limiting one’s time in the outdoors can also trigger myopia
- If you wear prescription spectacles of weaker power than required
5. How will I know if I am or my child is affected with myopia?
- Cannot see the blackboard/whiteboard from the last bench at school.
- Holding books, tablet, mobiles close to the face.
- Difficulty to see road signs while driving
- Sitting too close to watch anything in the television
- Squinting eyes to read or see objects that are far away from eye
6. How can one prevent myopia?
The evidence from research suggests that there are ways to prevent the onset of myopia or slow down its progression.
- Get an annual eye examination for your children
- Find out what you can do to prevent your son or daughter from developing myopia
- Avoid prolonged near work
- Spend at least 60-90 minutes in natural light (sunlight)
- Use good lighting for reading
- Take a break at regular intervals while performing a near task
7. How much time must be spent in an outdoor environment to avoid myopia?
- Research indicates that at least 60-90 minutes exposed to sunlight in an outdoor environment will help to prevent myopia.
8. Do my eating habits control myopia?
No, there is no evidence to confirm that nutrition is related to progression of myopia.
But following a balanced nutritious diet will make you remain happy and healthy.
9. If I wear my glasses regularly (spectacles or contact lens), will my power reduce?
No, regular use does not reduce the prescription power of your glasses. Regular wear of glasses helps to avoid complications and prevents the glasses power from increasing.
10. At what age can I get my child to undergo Lasik or any other surgery to get rid of spectacles/glasses?
Advisable age to undergo such treatments is atleast 18 years with a stable/unchanged spectacles power for a few years.
11. How long can my child watch television or use the mobile phone?
The World Health Organization recommendations screen time according to age:
- For 1-year-olds, sedentary screen time (such as watching TV or videos, playing computer games) is not recommended.
- For those aged 2 years and above, sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour every day; less is better.
- Spend at least 180 minutes in a variety of types of physical activities of any intensity, of which at least 60 minutes is moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, spread throughout the day; more is better.
12. Will my spectacle power increase continuously, how can this be stopped?
There is no way to stop myopia progression, but there are ways to slow down the rate of myopia progression with anti-myopia strategies.
13. Are spectacles the only option to correct myopia?
a. Apart from having to wear spectacles, there are other options now to counteract myopia.
b. Some of the anti-myopia options are:
- Multifocal Spectacles
- Corneal refractive therapy using ortho-k lenses
- Multifocal soft lens
- Atropine eye drops
- Commercially available anti-myopia spectacles
Come, participate in MyCyclothon and offer the gift of sight to children in need.