Friday, February 23, 2024

Soon all myopia? Experts warn of this new “epidemic”

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Yasmina Kato Editing by Soline Lerou

40% of the population suffers from this visual disturbance that makes it difficult to see from afar. In 30 years, more than half of the world could see a foggy alert from the World Health Organization. It is especially important to pay attention to children, while 90% of children and adolescents in Asia are nearsighted, according to “The Lancet.” In France, experts are clamoring to make it a public health issue.

Towards an “epidemic” of myopia? . number myopic people
It increases every year in the world. In Asia, where there is a genetic predisposition, 9 out of 10 children wear glasses for long-distance vision. This may soon be the case in France if nothing is done. In France, 20% of children under the age of nine are nearsighted. This number is likely to increase due to our increasingly urban lifestyles, both indoors and in front of screens. There is definitely a genetic side: With two nearsighted parents, the risk of developing myopia doubles by six.

Avoid nearsightedness with outdoor activities

But even with genetic factors, preventive measures help avoid developing the disease. “At least 40 minutes of outdoor exercise per day, but also keep reading material as far away from the eyes as possible, about 30-40 cm,” explains Jill Martin, ophthalmologist at Rothschild Foundation Hospital. “And when you do prolonged activities for near vision, you have to take breaks every 20 minutes, and look away for 20 seconds.”

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If myopia appears, glasses are not the only treatment. Eye drops or contact lenses
At night to stop the progress of children. Objective: To avoid high myopia, which affects 5 to 10% of people with myopia in France and which can lead to complete loss of vision.

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