Eye Health

23 August 2010

More pre-school kids short-sighted

Short-sightedness has nearly trebled among pre-school Hong Kong children, and experts said they believe video games and computers are partly to blame.

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Short-sightedness has nearly trebled among pre-school Hong Kong children, and experts said they believe video games and computers are partly to blame.

A study by the city's Chinese University found that 6.3% of kindergarten pupils were myopic in 2006-2007 compared with 2.3% a decade earlier, according to the South China Morning Post.

Researchers said they believe computers and portable video-game devices popular among Hong Kong children might be partly to blame.

Professor Dennis Lam, one of the study's organisers, said using video games on public transport and spending too much time in front of televisions and computers were affecting young children's eyesight.

Hong Kong already has one of the world's highest rates of myopia with earlier studies finding 17% of primary school starters and 53% of primary school leavers are short-sighted.

Around 800 kindergarten pupils were involved in the Chinese University study, which also found the average prescriptions for glasses was noticeably stronger than it was a decade earlier. (Sapa, Hazel Parry, August 2010)

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Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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