GPs and optometrists say parents should encourage their children to spend more time outdoors to prevent short-sightedness.
A new eye health report, 'Vision of Britain' by Optegra Eye Hospital Hampshire, based in Whiteley, and Boots Opticians, revealed that 88 per cent of local GPs and optometrists agree that if short-sightedness (myopia) is not controlled early, they are more likely to suffer serious eye disease as they age.
Dr. Clare O'Donnell from Optegra said: ‘It is recommended children should have time outside every day as natural daylight may help by stimulating the release of chemical signals from the retina, which may prevent elongation of the eyeball and so the development of myopia.
‘This will also help keep them away from too much small screen technology at the same time.’
But eye surgery technology is now advancing at such a rate that there are now interventions that may help tackle this issue.
These include myopia control spectacles, which have shown promising results in clinical trials but are not yet licensed in the UK.
For adults with eye problems, the very latest technology has recently been installed at the Optegra Eye Hospital in Whiteley. The SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) machine is a minimally invasive, bladeless form of keyhole laser eye surgery.
Ophthalmic surgeon Robert Morris said: ‘It is a very quick procedure, there is less chance of infection because the incision is very small and the recovery time is fast.
‘The baby boomer generation are always annoyed with having to have reading glasses but the truth is there are solutions.’
Patient Andy Doswell had eye surgery on Monday.
Yesterday the 54-year-old said: ‘The day before I struggled to read small text and today I can. It really is amazing and I would recommend to anyone.
‘Two of my children and my brother have had it done as well and it does massively change your life.’
Mr Morris added: ‘To hear the effect it has on people’s lives is top job satisfaction.’
The hospital also carries out other treatments including lens replacement surgery, presbyopia and cataract treatments.
Hospital director Fiona Taylor added: ‘I think there are lots of treatments people don't know about that can fix eye problems and prevent them.’