Much has been speculated (and discovered) about the adverse effects of phones and other gadgets on the health of children.
Now, the findings of a study conducted by All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have revealed something alarming.
It says that Indian schoolchildren are fast turning myopic due to increasing use of electronic gadgets such as smartphones.
Myopia, also known as near-sightedness is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus. It does not affect focus when looking at a close object.
Here are the key findings of the study:
- Currently, over 13 per cent of the school-going children in India are myopic
- A decade ago, only 7 per cent children suffered from the problem , which means the figure has doubled in 10 years - due to excessive usage of electronic gadgets
- Out of the 9,884 children screened, 13.1% were found to be myopic
- Only 320 children were found to be wearing appropriate spectacles
- Prevalence of myopia was higher in private schools compared to government schools, and was more prevalent in children from higher socio-economic status
- It was found to be higher in girls and among older children
- It was prevalent among children reading for over five hours a day, watching television for over two hours a day, and playing computer/video/mobile games over 1 hour a day
Atul Kumar, head of the Rajendra Prasad Center for Opthalmic Sciences of AIIMS, said, "Very less studies have been done in India on the eye related problems and the myopia one is one of them. We are also conducting a national survey to find out the other eye related problems among the children."
Feature image for representation / twitter