WHY THE NEED FOR SEEK?
the eye epidemic in s'pore
Scroll down to read on or click on any question below for the answers.
What is childhood myopia?
- Childhood myopia refers to myopia in children basically
- When a child develops myopia before the age of 10, he or she is at risk of severe myopia
- This child’s myopia may progress from 50 -100 degrees a year and slow down in young adulthood
- As an adult, he or she will most likely have high myopia and is at risk of severe myopia with complications leading to blindness
25% OF PRIMARY 1 CHILDREN HAVE MYOPIA
- This means at least 10,000 Singaporean children are at risk of severe myopia and blindness in the future.
= at least 1o,ooo children
- The proportion of children having myopia increases exponentially over the years upon reaching young adulthood.
what is myopia?
- Also known as short-sightedness
- Distant objects appear blurred
- High myopia may lead to severe myopia with complications leading to blindness
what does myopia do to my eyes?
- Myopia results from the elongation of the eyeball
- With a longer eyeball, images are focused in front of the retina rather than at the retina, resulting in blurred vision when looking far
- The retina is a layer at the back of the eyeball which contains light-sensitive cells and is responsible for sending visual images to the brain for processing
- The elongation of the eyeballs also means that myopia is irreversible
- Glasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery help to correct vision but not myopia
- They help to refocus light rays onto the retina but do not affect the shape of the eyeball.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF SEVERE MYOPIA?
- An elongated eyeball is more vulnerable to complications due to factors such as the thinning and stretching of the retina
- Severe myopia leads to pathologic myopia in which the eyeball continues to grow to an abnormal length
- Adults with pathologic myopia may have visually disabling lesions (damaged or abnormal tissues) in the eye such as myopic macular degeneration
- Refers to the clouding of the eyeball
- Results in a loss of clear vision
- Although cataracts usually occur in old age, people with high myopia are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age
- As the eyeball elongates in high myopia, fluid pressure builds up in the eye
- This causes glaucoma which leads to a gradual loss of sight
- The elongation of the eye leads to the thinning of the retina and this causes holes or tears
- Fluid then passes through them and the retina is separated from the other layers of the eye
what are the factors causing myopia?
- The number 1 risk factor is insufficient time spent outdoors
- If your child spends more time outdoors, the risk of myopia may be lower
how is insufficient outdoor time related to myopia?
- A study conducted on 6 year-old Chinese children in both Sydney and Singapore showed that time spent outdoors attributed to the difference in rates of myopia
- Additionally, sunlight causes the retina in the eye to secrete a chemical called dopamine
- Dopamine prevents the elongation of the eyeball and hence the onset and progression of myopia
how should i prevent the onset or slow down the progression of myopia in my child?
1) Bring your child outdoors more often and try to hit the target outdoor time every week.
2) Reduce the time your child spends on unnecessary near work
3) Ensure your child takes an eye break after 40 minutes of near work
4) Bring your child for an eye check-up if you notice your child has difficulty looking far away.
Going outdoors is a simple and effective way to fight childhood myopia
Before heading outdoors, here are some tips!
fight against childhood myopia,
bring your child outdoors today!