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Action on child myopia ‘essential’


Action on child myopia ‘essential’
By Cai Wenjun

Myopia is a widespread and increasing problem for Shanghai’s schoolchildren.

More than half the city’s 10-year-olds suffer from it, 70 to 80 percent of students in middle schools do so, and myopia affects as many as 90 percent of high school students, according to a survey covering about 20,000 local students.

A lack of outdoor exercise and insufficient rest for their eyes were the key reasons for the high myopia incidence, experts from Shanghai Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, which carried out the survey, told a myopia treatment forum that began in the city yesterday.

“Many parents have a misunderstanding that advanced laser eye surgery can treat myopia and failed to pay enough attention to their children’s myopia,” said Dr Zhou Xingtao, director of Shanghai Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital’s ophthalmology department.

“Though laser surgery is safe and minimally invasive, it doesn’t cure myopia and protection of vision must be done from childhood,” he added.

Experts said prevention and control of myopia were essential as severe myopia could cause many complications and seriously injure eye function.

“Severe myopia, which covers one fifth of all people with myopia, is the key for vision protection. Early intervention can prevent its deterioration,” Zhou said.

Schools in Shanghai had established vision databases for each student, Zhou added.

“Parents should take their children to hospital whenever problems are detected and ensure appropriate exercises and rest for children for myopia prevention and control.”

source: Shanghai Daily

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