The World Sight Day is commemorated every year on the second Thursday of October, and this year it is being celebrated on October 13 with the theme ‘Love Your Eyes’. The aim of celebrating this day is to bring global attention on vision impairment, including blindness.
Worldwide, around 1 billion people have near or distance vision impairment that can be prevented. Vision impairment affects people of all ages, especially people aged above 50 years. Vision impairment and blindness has a permanent effect on all aspects of life, including daily activities, interacting with the community, school and work opportunities and the ability to access public services.
Globally, unoperated cataract and uncorrected refractive error are the foremost causes of vision impairment. Other causes such as dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, infectious diseases of the eye, and trauma, however, cannot be ignored and need to be addressed.
Myopia, which is also referred as Near-sightedness, has also become more widespread worldwide in the recent times. Today, world over the occurrence of myopia exceeds 28%, and it is expected to affect 50 percent of the world’s population to some degree by 2050. Increased screen time and other lifestyle choices are leading to a increase in the incidences of Myopia. Covid pandemic also led to a major increase in screen time, especially in children and recent studies indicate a looming myopia epidemic. An increase in outdoor activities has shown to limit the development of myopia and have a positive effect on overall eye health says Dr Kavita Rao, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Mumbai – A unit of Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital.
Tips for eye health and reducing myopia in children
- Cultivate a healthy relationship with digital devices. Parents can limit the screen time for children’s using applications on their devices and guide children proper usage of electronic gadgets. Applications that can monitor device usage and remind users to disconnect after prolonged consumption ca be a good way to restrict excessive screen time.
- Encourage outdoor activities: Studies have shown that exposure to UV light stabilises the sclera and may inhibit axial elongation of the eye and myopia.
- Regular eye examinations is the key in early detection and treatment of myopia
- Your eye doctor may use orthokeratology, which is rigid contact lenses to reshape the cornea and reverse the myopia.
- MiyoSmart is an innovative spectacle lens developed using D.I.M.S (Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments) technology is very effective to slow the progression of myopia on children.
- Maintain a healthy nutritious balanced diet in children.
Increased time spent on gadgets not only increases the risk of developing myopia but also increased dryness of the eyes. The prevalence of dry eyes is also estimated to be around 50 percent of the population and is often underdiagnosed. Computer vision syndrome refers to dryness and fatigue of the eyes, while staring at any screen be it the mobile, laptop or the desktop. Infrequent blinking of the eyes during screen time contributes to evaporation of the tear film of the eye.
Easy tips for eye health while using screen devices
- Ergonomics in the work area, like maintaining straight posture while using the screen.
- Chairs with adequate support for back to prevent slouching.
- Keeping the computer screen at eye level or below reduces evaporation of tears from the eyes.
- Having a glare free screen helps in reducing symptoms.
- Reduce screen time to essential use.
- The other thumb rule is 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows the eye muscles to relax and allows for blinking.
- Avoid smoking which can further exacerbate the dry eye symptoms.
This year the aim of World Sight Day is to have over 1 million people pledge to have their eyes tested. This theme and goal draw attention to the importance of being aware of our own eye health and taking ownership of this task on individuals.
This World Sight Day let’s all remember and adhere to the 4 P’s to good eye health: prevent, protect, preserve, and prioritize.
For more information visit: https://www.dragarwal.com/