Only 46% Indian kids get regular eye tests: Survey

Published: Nov 21, 2019, 11:47 am IST
Only 46% Indian kids get regular eye tests: Survey

New Delhi, Nov 21 While doctors tag eye allergies, worsening eyesight and myopic vision, as the most commonly-reported eye problems in under-12 kids, not even half of all Indian parents take their children for regular eye testing, a new survey has found.

The study by Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting, covered 1,000 Indians and 300 ophthalmologists across top 10 Indian cities.

It revealed that while 68 per cent Indian parents believe that their kid’s eyesight is a priority for them, only 46 per cent of them get their kid’s eyes tested regularly.

“We are witnessing an alarming increase in the number of cases of myopia reported in kids below 12 years of age. On an average, 23-30 per cent kids in India are affected with Myopia, especially kids residing in urban areas as they are seen spending less time outside under sunlight. High exposure to TV, mobile, computer screens and other digital devices, affects children’s eyesight majorly.

“Air pollution can cause excessive rubbing of eyes resulting in weak vision. Hereditary is also a root cause for kids suffering from myopia which can affect their performance and development in the long run,” Kuldeep Dole, MBBS. MS. Ophthalmology told IANSlife.

In terms of artificial lighting, Indian parents reported their kids spending at least 14 hours indoors and most believe lighting has a direct impact on a child’s ability to concentrate.

“The type of lighting we use can have a significant impact on our daily life and children are especially vulnerable as they are now spending close to 14 hours in front of screens. Reports suggest that children with poor eyesight are more likely to suffer from poor academic performance and school absenteeism. Hence it is important that parents choose optimum lighting products for their home, that can reduce glare or flicker which can lead to eye discomfort and headaches,” Sumit Padmakar Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Signify told IANSlife.

To protect eyesight in children under 12 years of age, ophthalmologists recommend eating a diet rich in proteins, reducing screen time and ensuring adequate sleeping hours amongst other steps.