One in 10 Malaysian children face serious vision problems - no thanks to the excessive use of digital smart gadgets, among the main reasons.

MSU Centre of Excellence for Vision and Eyecare director Dr Mohd Zaki Awang Isa told Harian Metro that a local study has revealed the worrying facts.

"The study shows that one of 10 children have serious problems with their eyesight, to the extent of blindness, while there were also those who experience other types of vision issues.

"Another study in South East Asia and and Asia has also revealed that up to 60 per cent of children in the region are exposed to the risk of myopia (short-sightedness)," he said, adding that a report from the Ophthalmology Journal has also estimated that half of the world's population will risk being myopic by the year 2050.

About 10 per cent of the 2.1 people surveyed had high level myopia, which could result in other forms of vision problems like glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment, he added.

Mohd Zaki noted that the findings were similar to the one by the World Health Organization (WHO) which said that 1.1 billion out of 2.2 billion in the will face vision-related problems by the year 2050.

He said that as much as the younger generation nowadays are reliant on smart digital gadgets for studies, works and their daily activities, prolonged exposure to such devices impact the eyes negatively.

"It is best to not expose an infant aged below 18 months old to any form of electronic gadget, except as communication medium to family or relatives who live far awat.

"This is because prolonged exposure to the blue light emitted by the devices can cause the human vision to get tired easily," he said, further urging parents or guardians to closely monitor their children's screen time.

Meanwhile, the tabloid daily also spoke to Malaysia Cyber Consumer Association (MCCA) president Siraj Jalil, who noted that the country rated 25th in the world with the highest digital adaptation rate.

"Malaysia also ranks 12th in the video games section, behind countries like Singapore, Spain, Hong Kong, and Brazil," he said.

While such achievements are laudable, the prolonged exposure to screen time is bound to cause health problems, he noted.

"We can't avoid using gadgets, but we can regulate its usage for health concerns."

Source: Harian Metro
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