Leading optometrists have urged parents and caregivers to look out for signs of short-sightedness in children.
Earlier this month, researchers in Hong Kong reported a rise in short-sightedness, also known as myopia, amongst youngsters, and linked the findings to the time spent indoors and looking at screens during the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of the report, optometrist Dr. Keyur Patel insisted there is no time like the present to make an appointment with an eye specialist to check for eye conditions.
"Myopia is on the rise in children since the pandemic and has become a global public health issue, so regular eye examinations are important to identify any problems. Parents, children and opticians need to work together to protect children's eye health," he shared.
In addition, Dr. Patel noted that parents can do a lot to help protect their kids' eyesight, such as encouraging outdoor play, ensuring there is good lighting around them while they're doing homework or reading, and reducing screen time. It's also a good idea to hold books or devices at a distance, the same distance as from their knuckle to their elbow is a good guide - as holding them too close can increase myopia.
And while some children don't like the idea of wearing glasses to help their eyesight, they may potentially be candidates for special contact lenses.
"Myopia isn't just about corrective glasses or lenses - it's about intervention and management. MiSight 1 day contact lenses are specially designed for children and have been clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia in children by 59 per cent, on average - which could help reduce the risk of future eye health issues and enable children to reach their full potential by improving their vision," he added.