Pandemic, screen time causing increase of Myopia in children

For Your Health

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Parents, are your kids experiencing blurred-distance vision? It could be due to your child’s current screen time.

Dr. John Todd Cornett at Premier Vision said due to the current pandemic, doctors are seeing a growing epidemic in young children.

“We’re inside more, we’re on devices more learning has become online rather than in-person of those have increased the demand for to see things up close,” Dr. Cornett said.

With that demand, Dr. Cornett is seeing an increase in Myopia.

“It happens when the eye grows longer front to back than it should be and that causes light that comes in from far away objects to be blurry,” Dr. Cornett explained.

According to this year’s demographic report, Dr.Cornett said 20,385 children in the Amarillo area currently suffer from Myopia. That number is reportedly expected to grow 30% by 2030.

Dr. Cornett said that getting treatment as early as possible can reduce or prevent Myopia.

“As the eye elongates and gets longer then the retina can thin and that can lead them to problems as an adult with retinal detachments and if we can intervene and stop that elongation from happening we’re going to protect their vision as an adult,” Dr. Cornett said. “The important age range is really beginning about the age of 4 running up to about the age of 12.”

During that age range, Dr. Cornett said there are available treatments.

“One is using specialty contact lenses and one is using eye drops,” Dr. Cornett explained. “If you don’t intervene in the future Myopia will be the cause of irreversible vision loss in the world.”

Dr. Cornett said there are things parents can do to help prevent Myopia development in their children. This includes, increasing the amount of time your kids are outside in natural light and decreasing and delaying their screen times.


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