El mal uso de celulares causa de miopía infantil

En un par de años un tercio de la población mundial de niños y adolescentes padecerá de miopía debido al abuso y permanencia frente a pantallas de smartphones, tabletas o consolas

“En una sociedad cada vez más tecnológica, la utilización abusiva de dispositivos electrónicos como smartphones, tabletas, ordenadores o consolas está provocando un incremento en la prevalencia de importantes alteraciones visuales que afectan a la visión binocular de niños y adultos. Cada vez son más los pacientes que acuden a los establecimientos sanitarios de óptica con claros síntomas de fatiga visual como visión doble, sequedad ocular, picores, aumento del parpadeo, dificultad de enfocar, nauseas, vértigos, dolor de cabeza e incluso ansiedad. Según un reciente informe del Instituto Nacional de Salud y Seguridad Laboral de los Estados Unidos, el 90% de las personas que pasan más de tres horas al día utilizando estos dispositivos desarrollarán el síndrome de fatiga visual. Un daño que es aún mayor entre los más jóvenes, hasta el punto de que en 2020 más del 30% de niños y adolescentes serán miopes debido al abuso de estas tecnologías”.

El texto pertenece a lo más destacado de las conclusiones a que arribó el Congreso OPTOM Meeting de Valencia, convocado por el Colegio Nacional de ópticos Optometristas de la Escuela de medicina de Madrid, España.

El uso obsesivo de la telefonía celular cuestionado, entre otros y con particulares razones, por los oftalmólogos.

El director del Instituto de la Visión de Buenos Aires, Omar López Mato agrega su opinión científica sobre un tema que cobra vigencia, y que afecta, especialmente, a niños y jóvenes. “Antes, los niños estaban expuestos únicamente a la luz azul producida por el televisor, pero ahora están enfrentados a un mundo multipantalla. Los ojos tienen una exigencia para la que no están preparados, porque los usuarios alternan entre la computadora, el celular y la tablet”, subraya López Mato, agregando:  “un aumento del reflejo de acomodación facilita el alargamiento del globo ocular y, por lo tanto, de la miopía”.

La miopía es un defecto de refracción del ojo por el cual la imagen se forma por  delante de la retina, en lugar de hacerlo sobre la misma. Esta anomalía del ojo produce una visión borrosa o poco clara de los objetos lejanos, causada por un alargamiento del globo ocular o una falla en el cristalino. Es común observar a los que la padecen acercarse al material de lectura –impreso o electrónico– disminuyendo, de acuerdo a la gravedad, la distancia normal de observación de 25 a 30 centímetros, llamada “distancia óptima de visión distinta” a cercanías mucho menores para poder enfocar la visión.

La vulnerabilidad infanto-juvenil al desarrollo de adicciones, entre ellas, el uso descontrolado de la telefonía celular queda explícita en una observación de López Mato: “estamos criando individuos acostumbrados a la gratificación inmediata con sólo apretar un botón”, dicho esto más allá de las afecciones físicas a que se ven expuestos por el uso indebido.

“La ciencia está comprobando que existe una relación directa entre el desarrollo del globo ocular y el tipo de uso que los chicos le dan a los celulares. Todos los chicos son hipermétropes: el ojo es más corto que el de un adulto, tiene que crecer. Los estímulos que reciba o no ese ojos van a influir en ese crecimiento. Los que están todo el día encerrados con la tecnología y no tienen actividad al aire libre tienen toda la propensión a desarrollar miopía. Tienen que alternar porque sino sus ojos van a tender a ver de cerca”. (Oscar Ghilino, médico especialista en oftalmología y director de Oftalmos)

“Lo que produce el uso del smartphone es que se esté mucho más tiempo con los ojos abiertos, que no se parpadee lo necesario y lleva a la astenopía (cansancio visual) y al ojo seco, el principal síndrome del mal uso del celular. Tiene que ver con lo postural más que con los ‘rayos’ de luz. Que los chicos tengan los ojos más débiles a esa luz es un mito”. “Al mirar el celular se utiliza la acomodación, se contrae el músculo ciliar, unido al cristalino, y permite que las distancias lejanas se enfoquen de cerca. El ser humano no está preparado para estar todo el día ‘acomodando’ o mirando de cerca. Cuando miramos de lejos, relajamos la vista” (Fernando Giusio, especialista en “ojo seco” del Hospital Italiano)

Y agrega: la del uso del celular “es una posición anómala, están semiagachados –los niños y jóvenes, principalmente–, con los ojos abiertos, parpadean lo menos posible porque están muy atentos a lo que ven. Es un dispositivo cercano, no es como la tele, que la ven a cierta distancia, al ‘celu’ lo tienen pegado y, cuando les compran el primer celular, lo tienen todo el día”.

¿Qué pueden hacer los padres ante la “epidemia”:

La Sociedad Argentina de Pediatría (SAP) publicó en 2016 un estudio del pediatra Guillermo Goldfarbla, donde señala que es aconsejable “advertir sobre el nivel de exposición a pantallas que tienen los niños y adolescentes argentinos” . Y explica la multifunción del celular: “les permite ver series, escuchar música, jugar, estar en las redes y chatear con amigos”.

Recomienda, igualmente, que “no se les permita –a los niños– llevar a la cama un dispositivo luminoso antes de dormir, que no se los deje solos frente a ellas, que sean apps interactivas donde tengan que utilizar la función táctil y que el uso de cualquier pantalla no supere las 2 horas diarias. ¿Lo positivo de que las usen? La exposición a programas apropiados para su edad tienen ventajas cognitivas sobre los que no tuvieron esa oportunidad.”

Para los adolescentes, recomienda la recordable regla del 20-20-20, para el buen uso del celular: “cada 20 minutos, descansar de la pantalla mirando un objeto que esté a 20 pies (6 metros) y parpadeando varias veces durante 20 segundos”.

Conclusión: “Lo ideal es alternar el uso de pantallas con ejercicios, juegos y deportes al aire libre. Combate la obesidad y el sedentarismo, que van de la mano con la evolución de la miopía”.

 

 

FUENTES

Colegio Nacional de Ópticos-Optometristas -CNOO. https://www.cnoo.es/

Instituto de la Visión de Buenos Aires- www.institutodelavision.com/

Oftalmos – http://www.droscarghilino.com/index.html

Sociedad Argentina de Pediatría (SAP) www.sap.org.ar/

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