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Too Much Reading Makes Children Short-Sighted, Says Study

The study sees some experts saying that the condition should be renamed 'school myopia' because the increase in number of cases is so sharp.

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Updated:October 21, 2019, 3:12 PM IST
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Too Much Reading Makes Children Short-Sighted, Says Study
Representative image.

A new study has now revealed that children are at the risk of becoming short-sighted unless they spend two hours daily outside and abstain from prolonged interaction with screens and homework books.

According to researchers, the new epidemic of myopia in youngsters is because of the amount of time they spend glued to television screens, computers and even books, reported Daily Mail. Scientists have also said that there will be a rise in the number of people who have chances of becoming blind in later life because that have developed short-sightedness at a young age and have an increased risk of eye problem when they get older.

The study further sees some experts saying that the condition should be renamed 'school myopia' because the increase in number of cases is so sharp. According to the study, conducted by Dr Clare Quigley, an opthalmologist at Galway University Hospital, involving the lifestyles and health of 8,568 nine-year-olds, a strong connection emerged between the condition of eye problem with a sedentary lifestyle.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dr Quigley said that the factors that appear consistently in development of myopia are education and the amount of time spent indoors. While myopia has for the longest time been seen as a generic condition, new research has confirmed that 'nearwork', which includes activities done at short working distance -- such as reading, studying (doing homework, writing) and working on the computer -- can damage children's eyesight.

Furthermore, a research paper from the International Myopia Institute found that the odds of myopia increased by 2 percent for every additional hour of nearwork. Notably, myopia or near-sightedness is an eye disorder where the light focuses in front of the retina rather than on it. This causes objects that are at a distance to appear blurry while close objects appear normal.

According to experts, nearly 50 percent of people will have myopia by 2050.

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