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Smart phones, computers taking toll of kids’ eyes: Experts at Bihar ophthalmology meet

Kids glued to computer screens and playing games on mobile phones are prone to refractive error, especially myopia,said doctors attending the 55th annual conference of Bihar Ophthalmological Society (BOS).

patna Updated: Nov 04, 2017 19:54 IST
Binod Dubey
Binod Dubey
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar opthalmological society,55th annual meet,Myopis and smart phones
Dr VN Prasad receiving lifetime achievement award at Bihar Opthalmological Society meet in Patna on Saturday. (HT photo)

Excessive use of electronic gazettes, particularly smart phones and computers, consumption of junk food, long hours of study and air pollution are taking a heavy toll on children’s eyes.

This is indicated by an alarming increase in the incidence of myopia among kids, top ophthalmologists of the country said here on Saturday.

“Children, who are glued to computer screens and play games for long hours on mobile phones are prone to refractive error, especially myopia (near sightedness),” said the eye experts attending the 55th annual conference of Bihar Ophthalmological Society (BOS).

“The situation is really serious and requires immediate attention,” said Dr Nagendra Prasad, director of Patna based Buddha Eye Care. He directly blamed the habit of playing games on smart phones and computers for long hours.

He said environmental causes like pollution in the atmosphere and genetic factors also contributed to the disease. Myopia is a condition, wherein distant objects look blurred but the near vision is fine.

Chairman of the scientific committee of the conference, Dr Subhash Prasad, suggested regular screening of children’s eyes in their schools for early detection of refractive errors, which could be corrected by prescribing glasses.

He warned against self-medication, as it might lead to serious problems.

“It is well documented in recent ophthalmological journals that over exposure to electronic gazettes may lead to myopia,” said another eye specialist Dr Satyajit Sinha, director of AB Eye Institute.

After the detection of the ailment proper management of the condition is a must, he suggested.

Former honorary secretary of Glaucoma Society of India Dr Prateep Vyas said immediately after independence of the country hardly 5 to 7% school children were using power glasses.

“But now the percentage has increased to about 18. This is a sure indication to suggest that children are exposed to environmental factors like pollution and electronic gazettes,” he opined.

A functionary of the BOS Dr Sunil Kumar Singh also emphasized the need for school level eye screening programme for early detection and treatment of myopia.

Ophthalmologist Dr Puja Sinha said children should be encouraged for outdoor games to minimize the rising incidence of refractive error.

Turning towards another serious eye ailment, glaucoma, Chief organizing secretary of the conference Dr Bibhuti P Sinha said early detection of the disease was a must or else it may lead to permanent loss of vision. He suggested that people over 40 should undergo regular eye check up for glaucoma.

Eye specialist Dr Arbind Kumar Jaiswal said the rising incidence of retinopathy, caused by hypertension and uncontrolled diabetes, should also be taken into consideration.

Other prominent speakers included Dr Ramanjit Sihota, Dr TP Lahane, Dr Nilesh Mohan, Dr Ranjana Kumar and Dr Sudhir Kumar.

First Published: Nov 04, 2017 19:54 IST