Childhood myopia is increasing at a rapid rate, with 1 in 3 children now affected, and the recent shift in lifestyle as a result of COVID-19 has worsened the issue.
A recent survey conducted by Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) found that only 25 percent of parents have taken their child/children to visit the eye doctor since the pandemic began, despite an increase in screen time and change in lifestyle habits. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an irreversible disease affecting the ability to clearly see objects that are farther away, and it will continue to worsen and impact children’s ability to do their best if not treated early on.
GMAC, formed in early 2019, is composed of leading ophthalmic companies and eye health associations that agree on a clear need for greater public awareness about childhood myopia. Here are some fast facts about myopia and some topline results from the GMAC survey:
Since the pandemic most children haven’t complained about health issues but close to 2 in 10 complained about fatigue and increased headaches.
Myopia is now treatable—so parents don’t have to watch it get worse—and can schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor to ask about new treatment options that can slow the progression of the disease.
50 percent of parents report that their children spent more than 4 hours using electronic devices during the pandemic, compared to 18 percent of parents reporting the same behavior prior to the pandemic.
Only 56 percent of parents are worried about their child/children’s eyesight and 72 percent trust their pediatrician will flag any issues regarding their eyesight.
Learn more at https://www.allaboutvision.com/gmac/