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More children are at risk of developing myopia because they are glued to a screen

Mary Kenny


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Mary Kenny, writer and author

Mary Kenny, writer and author

Mary Kenny, writer and author

When I was a youngster, it wasn’t considered healthy for children to been seen constantly reading. “Too much time with your nose stuck in a book,” was a reprimand. “Out playing in the fresh air you should be!” The “bookworm”, in cartoon images, was the swotty kid with bottle glasses at home alone. “Specky-four-eyes,” was a common taunt. That was a while ago, but a recent, excellent article by Emily Hourican in this newspaper brought back an echo of those values. More children, eye experts are saying, should be out in the fresh air. Kids are spending way too much time reading on screens and this is having a deleterious effect on their eyes. Myopia — short-sightedness — is increasing at an alarming rate. Globally, a million more people are diagnosed as myopic every week.

The earlier the condition is identified, the more serious it is likely to become. And it is probable that more children are at risk of developing myopia because they are so often glued to a screen. Lockdown has increased screen time even more — screen study at home becoming the norm.


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