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Are Electronic Devices Making Kids Nearsighted?

 Dr. Maria Simbra PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – January 31, 2014  Computers, tablets, cell phones – is all this focusing on tiny electronic devices taking a toll on our childrens’ eyes?

To this statement I say it is true, I see children of nearsighted parents starting to wear glasses one to two years earlier than their parents.  Is that diet, the lack of outdoor activities or is it that the world our children are growing up in is less than an arms distance away.  Children today are using hand held devices, be it their Ipad, Iphone or Kindle, at an alarming rate.  Just walk into any dinning establishment and look at the children.  They are all looking at their cell phones.

In the article Dr. Corcoran says, “So these kids come into here, now in second and third grade, where it used to be fifth, sixth, seventh grade,” Corcoran said. “This culture of near work has produced this little more incidence of nearsightedness.”
With normal vision, light rays get focused on the back of the eye, or retina, where vision is sensed. With myopia, or nearsightedness, the eyeball becomes too long. Light rays fall short of the retinal. As a result, distant images are blurry.
“It’s the length of the eye,” Corcoran said. “It’s the curvature on the front surface of the eye that determines how light focuses in the back. So nearsighted parents will likely have nearsighted kids.”
While genetics does play a part, the environment could be an influence too.

In the 1970s, five in every 20 Americans were nearsighted. In the year  2000, eight in 20 were. 

So what is a parent to do?  In future blogs we will address some of the new techniques to reduce or stop the rate of Myopia progression.  Stay tuned

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