A new study has discredited the old belief that sitting in front or near the TV can damage your eyes to become nearsighted.
According to the researchers, the best way to envisage whether a child will become nearsighted or not, is by measuring their refractive error, which must be done at the age of 6. Refractive error is the measurement used by ophthalmologists in making eyeglass prescriptions.
Experts are saying that nearsightedness develops at age 8 to 12 and that a third of adults in the world are nearsighted.
As per dean of the College of Optometry at Ohio State University and lead author of the study, Karla Zadnik says, children are hesitant to inform their parents when they cannot see properly the class board and that letter-chart screening is less reliable as well.
“Measuring how well they can read the chart doesn’t relay that key piece of information,” she says.
For the study, Zadnik gathered information since 1989 from 5,000 ethnically diverse children. The participant’s eyesight was measured on a regular basis and parents were asked regarding the habits of their children.
Based on their analysis and findings, the researchers identified 13 would-be risk factors for nearsightedness or myopia.
One of the indicators they have found is family history. Children whose parents are nearsighted have a higher probability of becoming nearsighted.
The result of their study suggested that children whose refractive error was less than +0.75 diopters, which is slightly farsighted in first grade, have the more likely chance of becoming nearsighted.
Zadnik said that nearsighted cannot be prevented but assisting children to see clearly their class blackboard better in school would help.
“A parent might be able to say, ‘My child is a high risk myopic, I want to be sure he’s getting regular eye examinations,’ ” she says.