Madrid (EFE).- Myopia at an early age has increased by 17.8% in the last six years, which means that one in five school-age children suffers from this visual problem, according to the Myopia Barometer in Spain 20230 , prepared by the research group of the Complutense University and the Alain Afflelou Foundation.
The barometer, presented this Thursday, draws attention to the need to prevent this visual defect in the school stage where good vision is essential in learning and any problem in the visual health of students can even cause school failure. .
According to estimates by the National Association of Optical Business and Professionals (ANEOP), 50% of schoolchildren need glasses, but their parents do not know it.
Signs that can help identify a vision problem at school include seeing that the child is getting too close or too far away when reading, tilting the head, confusing letters, skipping words, slowing down reading speed, or having difficulty reading. reader.
According to the optical-optometrist and Complutense researcher, Ana Isabel González, the high prevalence of myopia at an early age is an increasing trend in the population around the world.
This researcher has confirmed that this increase in childhood myopia in the last six years corresponds, above all, to the time that children spend doing certain tasks that involve close vision, such as reading or studying, but also to the abusive use of electronic devices, without keeping distance and with insufficient lighting.
In addition, all this means that children spend less time outdoors using distance vision, adds the barometer.
And given that 80% of learning is obtained through vision, it is essential to prevent visual problems in children and pay attention to signs that may indicate a visual defect.
The study recalls that if vision problems are not treated they can affect both education and reading comprehension, but derived problems can also appear, such as strabismus or lazy eye.
For this reason, it is recommended to perform a visual examination at the beginning of school age, as well as periodic check-ups, since early diagnosis is essential.
Other actions that can prevent the development of myopia are for children to do outdoor activities for at least two hours a day to rest their eyesight and prevent them from doing close vision activities at home for a long time, such as using screens.
The data has been obtained in the check-ups carried out on children in the campaigns carried out each year by the Alain Afflelou Foundation through its optical centres.
In last year’s edition, the Foundation had more than 11,000 requests for appointments for vision checkups in school-age children and delivered more than 5,300 prescription glasses.