Surgery offers better vision for future

About 57 percent of local children and teenagers in Shanghai have myopia, the local health authority said on Thursday, the National Eye Care Day.

About 57 percent of local children and teenagers have myopia, 3 percentage points higher than the national level.

The condition affects around 8 percent of children aged 6, over 35 percent of primary school students and more than 77 percent of middle school students. As many as 84.4 percent of students in local high schools suffer poor vision, including 23.4 percent of 12th graders whose conditions are described as serious, the local health authority said on Thursday, the National Eye Care Day.

Normally, genetic and environmental factors contribute to myopia. However, doctors in China these days blame it on the youngsters' lack of outdoor activity, academic pressure and excessive exposure to digital screens.

At least two hours of outdoor activity every day reduces the incidence of the complaint. Local health authorities have teamed up with schools to increase PE classes, improve lighting in classrooms and establish vision records for each student.

Local hospitals are also getting in on the act with LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) and ICL (implantable collamer lens) surgery widely available.

“Surgery has become popular among people who want clear vision,” said Dr Lian Jingcai, president of Shanghai Xinshijie Eye Hospital. “Over 1 million people worldwide have been freed from glasses through ICL, with surgery time shortening from an hour to just five minutes by experienced doctors.”


Surgery offers better vision for future
Shanghai Xinshijie Eye Hospital / Ti Gong

Dr Lian Jingcai from Shanghai Xinshijie Eye Hospital checks a patient with myopia.

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