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Amid Covid and the rapid transformation to digital platform, kids and school children have come under the radar for various types of vision defects with most cases being of myopia, or short-sightedness, an AIIMS doctor said on Monday.

Myopia being the most widely-spread vision defect is very common and is estimated to affect at least one-fifth of the global population, accounting for at least 45 per cent among adults, and 25 per cent among children, said Dr Namrata, a Professor at the AIIMS Eye Centre.

"Unattended or uncorrected short-sightedness is the most common cause of vision loss, developing a cataract, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma, she said adding that it is mandatory to seek immediate intervention to prevent complications in adulthood.

Dr Namrata was speaking at an event organised by the All India Ophthalmology Society held to raise awareness against vision defects among the paediatric population. The Ophthalmology society also launched a consensus guideline on the prevention and management of childhood myopia on the occasion.

"While there have been many guidelines published by paediatric ophthalmologists from the west, there have been no such practice patterns available for Indian ophthalmologists and what would be the preferred clinical practice for our country. This document hopes to fill this void and provide guidelines in the Indian scenario," AIOS President, Dr Barun Kumar Nayak, said.

Myopia constitutes a significant health problem in children worldwide. Apart from the prominence of genetic factors where the risk factor for development of myopia in children doubles when both the parents are near-sighted, environmental factors and the digital reformation has also added to the burden at an alarming rate post-Covid, he added.

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