“Myopia” is the new epidemic coming… Will the world see it?

Karim sits in front of the cinema screen with his parents and watches his favorite cartoon. His mother notices that his pupils continue to constrict so that he can see the large screen that is several meters away. The mother becomes nervous about the repetition of the same action throughout the film, so she scolds the child, thinking that he is playing. As for the doctor, he confirms that it is severe myopia and says that his condition was very delayed due to the lack of early detection, noting that he has to wear prescription glasses to be able to see distant objects.

According to a study conducted by the “India” Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India, one out of every six children between the ages of five and 15 suffers from myopia. Complete eye examination every five years.

As for the World Health Organization, it warned that prevalence rates of what it called “the next epidemic” will reach 50 percent of the world’s population by 2050, noting that 2.2 billion people are visually impaired or blind, more than one billion of whom could save.

The pandemic affects students

Ibtisam Al-Sayed, mother of child Jannat, says that her daughter was short-sighted in the fourth grade of primary school and has been wearing prescription glasses for several years, explaining that her two brothers, Adam, who is the youngest son, and Lina, the middle daughter, are also they wear medical glasses because they suffer from the same disease.

The Economist magazine confirms that myopia is on the rise, becoming an “epidemic of the age”, pointing out that most of the affected children are in schools, and the reason for this is the way they are raised and sitting in classrooms for a large number of hours without exposure to daylight.

The magazine indicated that the countries of the world are concerned about this situation of rapid increase in the number of infections, such as an epidemic, especially because the worsening of the infection leads to more serious health problems that in the next stages reach loss of consciousness and blindness. lives.

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Safaa Mahmoud, consultant ophthalmologist, says: “The symptoms of myopia begin when there is a problem in seeing distant objects, with the patient’s need to constantly narrow the pupil of the eye in order to see.”

Mahmoud explained that “genetic factors also play a role in infection, but the biggest role is played by modern technology, especially the screens of mobile phones and tablets,” adding that “society must be aware of the dangers of wrong practices that lead to disease.”

For his part, Ibrahim Al-Tamawy, a consultant ophthalmologist, points out another cause of myopia, which is passive smoking, as well as increased environmental pollution, noting that “the World Health Organization must put at the top of its priorities in the next phase the control of the increasing number infected.”

Blindness is a potential danger

The mother of six-year-old SM says that her daughter is severely myopic, and she believes that the reason for this is that she is constantly sitting in front of tablets, which led to her autism and difficulties. seeing.

Prolonged exposure to screens can increase the risk of myopia by up to 80 percent, according to research conducted by the Institute of Vision and Eye Research at Anglia Ruskin University in Britain. risk, after analyzing the data of 3000 previous studies. .

In this context, Professor of Ophthalmology Ahmed Metwally warns that worsening cases of severe myopia can lead to irreversible blindness, and makes the infected suffer from numerous other eye diseases, and explains that “exposure to daylight is necessary for the safety of children’s eyes”, a warning From learning under dim lighting , and emphasizing the need for parents to keep their children exposed to natural light as much as possible during the day, such as sitting on the balcony or designing larger home sockets, as well as paying attention to indoor lighting units.

As for ophthalmologist Hamed Joudeh, he confirms that children suffering from myopia are exposed to a greater risk of developing cataracts, pointing out that “operations to remove this disease are fraught with danger and it is best to avoid worsening the situation, especially in people with severe myopia, and the best preventive methods are constant wearing of glasses and medical lenses.

Asia is ahead

Asia, and especially China, tops the list of the most myopic patients in the world, with studies showing rates ranging between 20 and 40 percent in European countries and between 17 and 19 percent in the United States. Medium.

Studies have confirmed that the joint action of international institutions and the development of various solutions to avoid the all-day stay of children in classrooms solves the main cause of the crisis. An outdoor study experiment was conducted on school children in Taiwan and resulted in significant results in reducing disease rates.

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