Seven out of ten physicians interviewed in a survey by the Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology (CBO) identified myopia progression in children during the pandemic. Another three in ten did not find this problem among patients.
The survey interviewed 295 ophthalmologists with various subspecialties, such as pediatrics, cornea, cataract, glaucoma and retina. The study was carried out in April and June of this year.
Among those who found increased degrees of myopia, 6% reported the problem in 75% of patients, 27% reported the situation in 50% of patients and 67% reported the condition in about 25%.
Of the professionals interviewed, 75.6% evaluated that the use of various electronic devices can aggravate myopia. Another 22% understood that this factor can influence, but only with the use of tablets and cell phones. Only a small percentage saw no relationship between the two phenomena.
Cell phone, television and video games
Almost all professionals interviewed (98.6%) said that reducing the time spent on screens (such as cell phones, television and video games) can help in the case of myopic children. Six out of ten respondents defended the recommendations of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP) on the subject.
The SBP advises that the exposure of children under two years of age to screens be avoided, even if passively. For children between two and five years old, the limit should be one hour of screen time, with supervision. For the age group between six and ten years, the time should not exceed two hours, also with supervision.
Almost all physicians consulted (96.3%) also responded that they consider the increase in activities outside the home as a factor that can contribute to reducing the degrees of myopia in children.
As for the ideal time for outdoor activities, respondents were divided, with the majority (43.2%) indicating at least two hours a day, 31% considering at least one adequate daily hour and 10% recommending at least four hours a day .
what is myopia
Myopia is the name given to a refraction error, when the image forms before the retina. It causes blurred vision, impairing the visualization of objects and images that are further away from the individual.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 59 million people with this condition in Brazil, more than 25% of the population. Worldwide, the number of people with myopia reaches 2.6 billion.
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