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13% schoolchildren myopic in India: AIIMS

The prevalence rates of myopia among Indian school goers has doubled over the last decade due to excess use of electronic gadgets.

myopia, nearsightedness, shortsightedness, Indian children, rates of myopia in India, rates of Myopia among Indian children, eye related problems, ophthalmology, Ophthalmologic Sciences An AIIMS study has highlighted an alarming trend in which rates of myopia — or shortsightedness — among school-going children in India has doubled up to be 13 per cent. Excess use of electronic gadgets is to blame, according to the study. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Over 13 per cent of school-going children in India have turned myopic, an AIIMS study shows, adding that the number has doubled in the last decade due to excess usage of electronic gadgets.

According to the Rajendra Prasad Center for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS, the statistics for the disorder a decade ago was only 7 per cent. Among the other nations which follow the increase in the problem among its children are China, Singapore and Thailand.

Myopia — also known as nearsightedness and shortsightedness — is a condition of the eye where the light that enters the eye does not directly focus on the retina, but in front of it. This causes the image that one sees — when looking at a distant object — to be out of focus. It does not affect focus when looking at a close object.


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“Very few studies have been done in India on eye-related problems and the myopia one is one of them. We are also conducting a national survey to find out other eye-related problems among children,” said Atul Kumar, head of RP center, the apex eye center of India.

The announcements were part of the 49th Foundation Day of the RP Center for Ophthalmologic Sciences, during which Kumar also announced several other new studies being carried out to figure out the existing eye-related problems in the country.

Established in 1967 as the National Institute of Ophthalmology, the RP Center currently has 41 faculty members working in its 14 clinical and para clinical sections.

Speaking about the center, Jeewan Singh Titiyal, ophthalmology professor at AIIMS said, “Till now 1, 400 corneas were retrieved through voluntary eye donation and hospital cornea retrieval programme. Over 950 corneal transplant surgeries were performed at RP center since its establishment.”


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First published on: 14-03-2016 at 07:05:47 pm
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