Mandating comprehensive eye examinations for children where is the evidence
On the other hand, a rapidly growing body of research on populations in Asia is yielding strong evidence linking diminishing levels of exposure to outdoor light with a prevalence of myopia that is approaching epidemic proportions.13“Keep myopia at bay,” chirp colorful screensavers and wallpapers offered by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board.
“Go outdoors and play.” The irony of flashing messages on a computer monitor to get children away from that same monitor is not lost on the researchers who have been charting the rise of chronic nearsightedness in the region’s populations.
Similarly, the rate among white participants in the same age group moved from 25.8% to 34.5%.
The rates for participants in older age groups increased even more, so that the overall average reached 33.5% among black participants and 43.0% among white participants.18These numbers are well below similar surveys in Asia, but Vitale says, “Given this evidence, and putting it together with the kinds of findings people were seeing in other countries, it seemed pretty clear that the prevalence had indeed increased.”For Mutti, that increase raises questions about the sampling and measurement that went into the data.
According to Morgan, a 1-mm increase in the length in a 25-mm eye leads to moderate myopia, where objects more than 1 m away appear blurry.
It’s too large, and we just have to get it to slow down a little bit, without influencing function.
But you do not see children of school age, because they are at home doing their homework,” he says.
This lifestyle appears to exact a toll on young eyes.
(On the other hand, myopia is negatively associated with age-related macular degeneration.16) Young people afflicted with the most serious degree of myopia display few other symptoms, but middle-aged individuals with “high” (severe) myopia exhibit many pathologies of the eye.8Myopia stems from what amounts to a small though apparently important physical deformity: a lengthening of the eyeball along its horizontal axis.
Myopia comes in varying degrees, depending on the extent of this distortion.
If we really understand the physiology of eye growth, there are probably many opportunities to influence the chain of events that control growth and how big the eye eventually gets.”In Singapore and several neighboring countries, the prospect of achieving such an understanding has become more than just a tantalizing intellectual milestone; it would set the stage for intervention strategies to tackle the causes of myopia rather than simply correct its symptoms.