Weak eyesight result of youth’s changing lifestyle


The use of spectacles among youth has seen a surge over the past few years as low vision problem is on the rise among the young because of change in their habits and routine, studies and doctors say.
Eye specialists say that there are multiple factors that are putting an accumulative adverse effect on the eyesight of the young people.
Some say that children also get weaker eyesight genetically while others think external factors are more responsible for the problem.
Professor Dr Ali Haider of Lahore General Hospital calls it a matter of changed habits. “Children now get involved in activities that do not include viewing far away things, instead their eyes remain engaged in proximate things and their vision gets fixed at nearer level,” he explained.
He compared the physical efficiency of a youth doing labour with that of his or her rich counterpart citing their different routine and lifestyle. He said change in daily routine could affect the vision as well.
He said indoor activities such as handheld reading, playing video games, increased use of computers and watching televisions were main factors causing low vision.
He said those who go outdoors for sports or excursion have fewer complaints about their vision than those who stay indoors and avoid sunlight and hence their eyes develop a habit of shortsightedness.
Citing a research published in an Australian journal, Dr Ali said children spending more than four hours in sunlight had sharper eyes than children who spent less than 4 hours in sunlight.
The studies have indicated that in Japan, use of glasses has increased enormously within few decades and now almost every person in Japan wears glasses. In Singapore every college-going person had eyesight issues and wore glasses. People in Chinese cities have more sight problems than those in villages. Contrary to these countries, Mangolians have almost no glasses wearing population because they are less tech-savvy.
Dr Ali said in some parts of Pakistan, especially in Balochistan there was deficiency of vitamin A in children that caused vision impairment. Another senior eye specialist Dr Nasrullah also endorsed the opinion of Dr Ali that the routine of working on closer things could limit the vision among young people.
However, he said, the problem was not new but earlier it was not studied.
Opticians also say now majority of their customers are young people.
According to a study published in a journal of Medical Sciences of Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar, the problem persists in children of between 7-10 years of age. The study indicates that males are more affected by problems of low vision than females. Another study conducted a year earlier at Mayo Hospital suggested increase in the eye-care facilities and pediatric ophthalmology centres.
The study revealed that most patients who got treatment there were boys above five years of age.
Experts say that as the poor vision is not a problem to be dealt with medicines or vitamins; instead it is an issue involving habits.
Some earlier researches suggested that eating carrots was good for eyesight, but recently a research published in the journal called Physiology & Behavior said eating dark chocolates could help people see better in low contrast situations. These chocolates contain flavonoids that increase blood flow to the retina and head and boost vision and brain power.