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Myopia reaches 'alarming proportion' among Americans: Nt'l Eye Inst

Press Trust of India  |  Houston 

has now reached here with the putting the number of American suffering from at about 42 percent, up from 25 percent in 1971.

According to World Health Organization, the condition of those who can't see objects at a distance, is increasing at an alarming rate.

typically appears among school-going children and can be associated with long-term eye health problems such as and

No conclusive studies link the rise of in children to their increased use of technology, but enough research and anecdotal evidence exists to support these theories.

The at the National Institutes of Health states that about 42 percent of Americans are myopic, up from 25 percent in 1971.

Responding to the rising number of children with blurry caused by myopia, the (UH) is offering a to correct and manage in children. It is the first of its kind in

Children are doing a lot more near work' even before kindergarten, especially on digital devices, and not getting outside as much, said Kathryn Richdale, UH At the same time, we're seeing this staggering increase in myopia.

Treatments offered by the will have the maximum impact during childhood, a time of rapid myopic progression.

We can't stop or reverse myopia, but we can slow down the progression, said Richdale. We use certain eye drops or specialty multifocal or orthokeratology lenses. The orthokeratology lenses are worn while users are sleeping and temporarily re-shape the eyes so users don't need glasses during the day.

If patients continue wearing the lenses, they slow down the progression of myopia, Richdale said.

As lots of schoolwork is done on digital textbooks, kids are more on the computer at school as well as at home, the myopia rates may have climbed dramatically in the last few decades.

Outdoor time appears to be very good in cutting the risk for nearsightedness, said Richdale. We do not fully understand why, but it may be related to the idea that when people are outside, there is generally brighter light and eyes are focusing on objects farther away.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 01:50 IST