05 August 2021 | Thursday | News
A child going through the MYAH screening at VISTA Eye Specialist Kids in the Curve, PJ.
"Myopia is a growing health issue in Asia among school children - with rates showing 80% to 90% of East Asian young adults having myopia," stresses Dr Mandy Cheong Moon Yee, Consultant Ophthalmologist at VISTA. "Many parents don't realize the impact of shortsightedness is not limited to just glasses, but it exponentially increases the risks of eye diseases - such as glaucoma and retinal detachment." The MYAH includes a reporting system that tracks myopia progression over time and analyses the data for the effectiveness of the treatment which allows the doctor to better manage the child's myopia situation.
Another growing issue due to the increase of online classes and increased screen time other than increasing myopia, is dry eye problems for kids. "Our eyes blink less than half the rate we normally blink, resulting in what is known as digital eye strain - dry, irritated eyes with blurry vision. The MYAH helps to identify the root cause of dryness and allows the doctor to prescribe the right treatment," says Dr Chai Khai Siang, Consultant Ophthalmologist at VISTA. "It scans quickly and without much fuss - making it significantly kid-friendly," adds Dr Chai.
Myopia begins between the ages of 6 and 14. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2050, almost 50% of the world's population may be myopic and with the increase in prevalence of dry eyes, it is opening another crisis when it comes to general eye health.
"These problems can be reduced or managed better when still early. Therefore, I would advise parents to pay attention to their child's eyes and to do regular eye check-ups to uncover vision problems, to combat this growing crisis in young children of both myopia and dry eye disease," adds Dr. Chai.