Rise in kids with nearsightedness could be linked to screen time

An estimated 40% of the children around the world suffer from myopia, or nearsightedness, and the possible reason is pretty eye-opening.

"The studies show that kids who spend more time indoors rather than outdoors—in the sun, exercising, running around—have a much higher degree of myopia, or nearsightedness," said Dr. Robert Cykiert, a clinical associate professor of ophthalmology at NYU.

Cykiert has been practicing since the early 1980s. He has seen roughly a 10% increase in children 5 to early teens who need glasses or contacts for nearsightedness. About 35% of children in the U.S. are dealing with some form of nearsightedness, he said, and is much worse in parts of Asia.

There isn't a definitive cause for the increase but more screen time in front of phones and tablets at both home and school could play a factor.

Parents should be on the lookout for squinting, declining grades and difficulty playing sports, which could all be symptoms your child's eyesight has declined.


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