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Children at risk: Excessive screen time can cause serious eye diseases

over five children with myopia are being registered in private clinics every day in Kashmir
02:48 AM Feb 19, 2024 IST | Rabiya Bashir
children at risk  excessive screen time can cause serious eye diseases
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Srinagar, Feb 18: Forget virtual autism, excessive screen time can give rise to serious eye diseases like Myopia- a condition where distant objects appear blurred among children.

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The Valley based top ophthalmologists told Great Kashmir that excessive use of gadgets , screening, and dependency on social media are the contributing factors to this concerning uptick in paediatric eye disorders.

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They said that eye problems among children starting from 1 to 2 years are alarming in Kashmir. " Half of the population, especially children will have eye disorders in the coming years as excessive screen time continues. Myopia too will be common in the next 10 years," they said.

According to the official data, over five children with Myopia are being registered in private clinics every day in Kashmir. Besides, hundreds of children suffering from different eye problems are being registered at JVC Bemina.

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Dr Sajad Khanday, Professor of Ophthalmology at Government Medical College told Greater Kashmir that we are witnessing an unprecedented surge in myopia and other eye ailments among children, directly attributable to the excessive screen time prevalent in today's digital age.

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" It is very important to remain outside, walk in the sunlight atleast for 2 hours a day. Parents must recognize the detrimental impact of unrestricted gadget use on their children's eye health and take immediate steps to mitigate these risks," he said.

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He said that outdoor activities among children in Kashmir are limited and remaining indoors risks eye health.

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Dr Khanday said that Astigmatism (imperfection in the curvature of eye's cornea or lens), Myopia (near-sightedness) , allergies and dry eye disease were common among children.

He said that children's dependency on use of computers, phones, and tablets, caused a jump of nearly 50 percent in dry eye cases over the past one year and increased eye disorders like Myopia.

" Myopia is more prevalent among children who remain indoors with electronic gadgets. It is less seen among those children who remain active outdoors in sunlight for atleast two hours a day," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Sheikh Sajad, HoD , Department of Ophthalmology at SKIMS, Bemina told Greater Kashmir that cases of eye disorders among children are increasing at an alarming rate in Kashmir and the reasons are excessive usage of computers and other electronic gadgets for longer durations.

He said that increased cases of myopia are also being reported at the hospital and in private clinics.

" We are also receiving cases of squints among children. Encouraging outdoor play, engaging in physical exercise, and fostering hobbies that do not involve electronic devices are recommended strategies to safeguard children's vision," he said.

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