The Pacific Eye Institute has identified a concerning trend, as one in every ten children is diagnosed with a refractive error, resulting in blurred vision.
These findings were made during the recent school visits.
The institute also suggests a potential link between increased screen time and the rising prevalence of refractive errors in children.
Eye Clinic Head Dr Luisa Cikamatana says there is currently no definitive research supporting this connection, however, evidence does indicate that prolonged screen exposure can lead to eye strain, which may have long-term consequences.
She is urging everyone to prioritize their eye health and refrain from activities that increase the risk of eye strain.
“So I see children being given mobile to use as a way of sort of distracting them from crying or as a solution just to get them occupied, and that’s not good. As time goes by, they are so attached to it that they spend more time. We might see children needing glasses earlier on.”
Dr Cikamatana also explains the period needed before wearing glasses.
“It’s not something that if you do it today, you’ll get it tomorrow. So it takes time. So it takes years, five to seven years before maybe the need of glasses.”
The Health Ministry is encouraging regular eye check-ups to proactively address any potential issues related to eye health.