Many children are unaware of the effects of myopia, also known as shortsightedness.
That was the case with me, at the time an unsuspecting Primary 4 pupil addicted to reading, often in insufficient light. I did not realise anything was wrong initially as my eyesight deteriorated gradually. It was only after the classroom board became too blurry and letters on signboards became unclear did I start to wonder what was wrong with my eyesight, which used to be perfect.
I told my parents, who immediately took me for an eye check-up which revealed my myopia. Not being able to see distant objects clearly is one of the most detectable effects of myopia.
The Health Promotion Board should organise more talks and speeches along with campaigns so that more parents and children are aware of this condition.
And if more regular eye check-ups are conducted in schools, children would be able to talk to their parents and teachers about the topic, and consult them for advice.
Children should also be taught how to improve or stabilise their eyesight. For example, spending more time outdoors, eating more vegetables such as carrots which contain vitamin A, watching less TV and reading in good light are ways to maintain good eyesight.
Through education and creating awareness about myopia, we can improve eye health in Singapore children.
Avishi Gurnani, 11
Primary 6 pupil