Smartphones, tablets to leave half of planet nearsighted by 2040

Smartphones, tablets to leave half of planet nearsighted by 2040

A number of recent scientific studies have revealed that with the widespread use of technological devices like smartphones and tablets, one out of every two people will be myopic in 2040.

Volkan Hürmeriç, an associate professor of Ophthalmology, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that because of an intensive use of smartphones and tablets, future generations are facing the danger of myopia, or nearsightedness.

Hürmeriç said the frequent use of these devices can affect eye health, especially those of children in their development ages. He recommended that parents should control how much time their children spend using these devices and added that the assumption that vision defects can be fixed with laser treatments or with glasses in the future was not the correct approach.

Evaluating the results of 145 different scientific studies on myopia, Hürmeriç said a meta-analysis of 145 scientific studies worldwide shows that one in every two people will be myopic in 2040, which may lead to a huge increase in health spending by the state and the public.

"Vision defects will become a more frequent problem in the later years especially in people between the ages of 20 and 40," he said.

Hürmeriç underlined that now children as young as 3 are using these devices. If used throughout the developmental stages, they can become addictive.

"The most important factor in the development of myopia is the close monitoring of the screens and the reading of the screens or papers from short distances," Hürmeriç said.

"The time that children spend looking at these devices should be strictly limited and needs to be controlled."

Underlining that the increase in myopia cannot be attributed to a single cause, he said urban life and genetic factors were also responsible for the development of the disease.

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