Screens and eyesight: What can parents do?

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Children seem to spend endless hours on smartphones, games consoles, computers and tablets these days.

The play on electronic devices will certainly help your waistline, but have you ever wondered what to use on a regular device, to your eyesight?

Although there is not much research out there yet about the impact of screens on eyes – after all, the iPhone was unveiled by Apple in just of 2007, experts are concerned about the growing levels of short-sightedness in children.

And you propose to prevent the best what can parents do to encourage it, the young people spend more time outdoors in the sun light. As the short-sightedness is on the rise

There has been a massive increase around the globe at short-sightedness, or myopia, as it is officially known – in the last few decades.

“We know that myopia, or nearsightedness, is becoming more common,” says Chris Hammond, a professor of ophthalmology at King’s College London and consultant ophthalmic surgeon at St. Thomas’ Hospital.

“It has reached epidemic levels in East Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, where nearly 90% of the 18-year-olds are now myopic.

“In Europe, there are up to 40% to 50% of the young adults is potentially always in their mid-20s, are short-sighted now in Western Europe. It is gradually increasing over the decades of the 20th century by about 20-30%.”Why it has become so much more common?

Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, says that to his lack of natural light seems to be the crucial question.

“The most important factor is a lack of exposure to direct sunlight seems to be because kids who study a lot and the use of computers or smart phones or tablet computers have much less opportunity to be outside and in the sun are less exposed to radiation, and because of the, seem to be more at risk of developing short-sightedness.”

Prof Hammond said: “It may be that it is not a coincidence that in East Asian countries, the term most of the short ones, all of which correlate with the math-League-tables.

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“These children are marginalized, with very intensive training from a very young age and spend to study a lot of time indoors, close to everything and very little time outdoors.

“Therefore, the concern is that all of the close work – like playing with the iPad and iPhone – has the potential, it could make you more short-sighted.”So we should use the stop or limit of the screen?

Now, this is much easier said than done! All parents know that children are like dogs with a bone when it comes to trying to find your beloved cell phones and, it is from your devices pretty much impossible – certainly without a massive argument.

Dr Dahlmann-Noor, who is the mother of three children, says try, to stop screen, is probably an unrealistic hope.

“You can just tell, it could be uncomfortable for your eyes, it could make you short-sighted, and you should not use it as much as you like.

“But, hand on heart, I don’t think we can get away from this, as they also do their homework on laptops and iPads and do your searches for background information on the screens.

“When you’re a teenager and you have to do revision for GCSEs or A-levels, then you can’t switch off really, can you? So I don’t think we use the reduction of the screen, to really come, in the years to come.”Time outdoors is the key

The best, what to do, say the experts, is that children play outside as much as possible.

“The protection of the myopia development, the time for outdoor sports and leisure activities outdoors to protect vision,” says Prof Hammond.

“In a perfect world, probably in the average over the week and on weekends, two hours per day of outdoor protective clothing is too short-sighted in children.”
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He says myopia research in Sydney, Australia, showed that only 3% of the Chinese cultural heritage of children living in Sydney, spent two hours a day outdoors – were short-sighted, at the age of six, compared to just under 30% of the six-year-olds in Singapore.

“So, again, suggestive that the outdoor lifestyle is good for our eyes.”And don’t forget your vegetables

Dr Dahlmann-Noor also says the diet is an area where families can help with the eyes.

“We always tell the parents about omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E and nutrients that are good for the back of the eye.

“Healthy diet is really important – in terms of the always oily fish, avocados, green vegetables, green leafy vegetables, as much as possible.

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“Or children, all these supplements that you can buy over the counter that are good for the brain, also happen to be good for the eyes – you are are not marketed.”

She also recommends regular annual eye checks.How would I know whether my child was always short-sighted?

According to NHS Choices, signs that your child may be short-sighted:
that sit near the top of the class in the school, because they find it difficult to read the whiteboard
sitting close to the TV
Complain of headaches or tired eyes
regularly RUB the eyes themselves

If someone is short-sighted, the eyes are grown too long, which means that light rays are focused front of the retina, at the back of the eye, distant objects are blurred but close objects are clearly seen.Hope for tomorrow’s treatment

While the level of myopia is likely to continue rising, the hope is that researchers will find ways to reduce their progression.

Dr Dahlmann-Noor, says: “to look at What we need, in terms of research and development, the possibilities of the modification of the impact of these activities on their visual development.”

Prof Hammond adds: “There are to slow down eye drops and other treatments, myopia progression. But in terms of the prevention of myopia even, there are no data, there are at the moment in the Form of ” Could the drops that we use to slow the progression stop to develop short-sightedness?’

“I think it is the logical next step in the research studies, as in countries such as urban China, where 10% of the children in each class per year and are always short-sighted, around the age of six years – there is an argument to say that we should try to prevent it.”