New UK research has revealed some of the factors that could contribute to a child's risk of developing myopia, finding that children are born in the summer and those who spend more time playing computer games has a greater risk of developing the condition.
The study looked at King & # 39; s College London, at 1,991 twins with an average age of 16.7 who all took part in the long term Twins Early Development Study (TEDS).
The researchers collected data on demographic, social, economic, educational and behavioral factors in both pairs at different points between two and 16 years old, to look at key stages of child and eye development.
Opticians were asked to provide information about myopia taken from the children's eye tests, and parents and teachers asked to complete questionnaires to provide information about other factors that might be relevant.
The findings, published in the British Journal of Offthalmology, showed that one in four (26 per cent) of the twins were myopic in general. The average age that children with myopia began to wear glasses to correct the condition was 11.
The researchers also found that the factors associated with the development of myopia were born during the summer, the number of hours of children spent computer games and the mother's educational level.
The team explained that as children U.K. born during the summer months, the school starts under younger age than those born during the winter months, they are also beginning to work earlier, for example with books, which could accelerate eye growth, causing a short look. More computer games play hours may also be associated with myopia due to working closely, and because more time is spent playing indoor games means less time outdoors, a factor that has also be associated with an increasing risk of myopia.
The results also showed that fertility treatment is associated with a lower risk of 25 to 30 percent of myopia development. The team suggested that, as children born as a result of fertility treatment were often less and slightly premature, they may have some developmental delays that could lead to shorter eyes and less myopia.
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness or proximity, is a condition that eye can not concentrate properly, meaning that close objects look clear but some distant seem to be unclear. It can be corrected with prescription or contact lenses, as well as laser surgery, but is associated with a higher risk of visual impairment and later sight loss.
The condition becomes more prevalent, with a total of 4.758 billion people anticipated to affect it by 2050, up from 1.950 billion in 2010.
In a related editorial, doctors from the National Eye Center, the Eye Research Center, Melbourne, Australia and the University of Melbourne said that the study used data collected before the huge increase in digital media, which could also play a role.
"The increasing device screening time (DST) that results from games, social media and digital entertainment has led to an increase in sedentary behavior, poor diet and lack of outdoor activity," they said. "The use and misuse of smart devices, especially in our pediatric populations, must be monitored closely to tackle a new digital myopia phenomenon." KM
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