Back in the day, owning a radio was considered a luxury, it then moved on to black and white television sets, then color televisions, then it moved on to cellphones being a status symbol, but fast forward to 2011 and just about everybody has a cellphone regardless whether it’s a feature phone or smartphone. Heck, even kids these days are going to school with iPhones and iPads but it looks like it’s not all good news.
According to a survey in 2010, 65% of Taiwan’s sixth graders are myopic, 3.4% who have severe cases of myopia and a staggering 21.5% of first graders are nearsighted. Now it seems that according to ophthalmologist Fu Chou-Ching, one of the contributing factors to the rise of myopia in young children is due to mobile phones.
Unfortunately it appears that prolonged exposure to mobile phones to surf the web or play games on their parents’ phones is one of the factors that impair children’s eyesight, or so Fu Chou-Ching is claiming, and there was even an instance where he witnessed a mother who had to bring in her 3 year old son to the ophthalmologist as she had noticed her son needing to squint while watching the television.
Now there are many factors involved that can cause myopia or nearsightedness – some are due to genetics while some claim that environmental factors play a role too. While it has usually been proven to be hereditary genetics that cause myopia, there have been studies that suggest a possible link between visual stress (spending many hours reading, using the computer or doing intense close visual work) and myopia. While we have no way of actually verifying this for ourselves, striking a balance in whatever we do seems to be the best route.