Vision is crucial to almost anyone, but especially so in children. Why, you ask? Simply because a child’s eyesight is significant to his/her success in school. When your child’s vision is not at peak performance, you can bet that his/her quality of schoolwork will take a toll too.
In a study conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center, it was discovered that reading for too long a period of time could damage a child’s vision, causing short-sightedness. It was further discovered that about 1% of the population carry a variant gene – APLP2 – which made them 5 times more susceptible to myopia.
That being said, while we do encourage good reading habits in children, there are a plethora of factors that play a pivotal role surrounding reading times. First and foremost, a study conducted by a London-based optical clinic found that although reading for long period of times may be a crucial factor in childhood myopia, it is only proportionate to the amount of daylight their eyes receive. As most reading and studying is done indoors, the lack of light may be one of the factors – coupled with long reading hours – that cause childhood myopia to develop.
Notwithstanding these factors, it is essentially important to note that myopia development enters its critical stages during primary and secondary school, so parents may want to be extra cautious during this timeframe by ensuring that their children get at least two hours of ‘outdoor time’ everyday.
We at Nanyang Optical believe that while childhood nurturing in education is especially important in Singapore, we speak the same when it comes to general eye care. Which is why we suggest that your child attend regular vision testing early. For more information on how to improve your child’s vision, check this out!