Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC)
Global Myopia Awareness Coalition Says “Game Over, Myopia” by Bringing its Message to Gamers
In a recent GMAC poll, 61% of parents surveyed said their child’s use of video games has increased since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
Boulder, CO: The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) is working with influential online gamers and parents to raise awareness about myopia in children by encouraging them to discuss the importance of getting away from screens and playing outside.
GMAC found that since the COVID-19 outbreak, 44% of parents surveyed say their children are spending four or more hours per day on electronic devices, watching television, using handheld devices and even completing schoolwork remotely. Given many of these children are also gaming, the coalition is bringing its message to them directly via online video game streams, and to parents who are encouraged to recreate their children’s favorite digital games, in real life.
“It is clear that while much of the country has been sheltering in place this year, parents have been doing the best they can, often helping children with schoolwork on digital devices,” said Matt Oerding, Co-Founder and CEO of Treehouse Eyes and GMAC Board Chairman. “In fact, 67% of the parents we surveyed said their kids are spending more time accessing e-learning tools, and since they’re likely using the same devices to chat with friends or play video games, it is all about balance when it comes to screen time.”
Myopia has been growing at a rapid rate in children, and it significantly increases a child’s risk for more serious eye diseases – even blindness – in adulthood. Yet because so few parents are familiar with myopia, it goes untreated in staggering numbers, creating barriers for children.
It’s important to prioritize seeing (in-person or virtually) an eye doctor for early detection, as pediatric or school screenings are not enough. In addition to seeing a doctor, parents should do their best to help kids balance screen time and near-work with other, preferably outdoor, activities.
To follow along with the campaign, search #GameOverMyopia on social media.
About Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC)
GMAC is a coalition of companies and health care associations committed to raising public awareness of childhood myopia, one of the major public health challenges of our time. With 50% of the global population estimated to be myopic by 2050, and 20% of myopic patients having high myopia, urgent action is needed to reduce the risk of vision impairment and blindness due to high myopia and the socioeconomic burden associated with poor vision. GMAC is organized under the World Council of Optometry (WCO), and includes the following companies which are leaders in the eye care industry: Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Essilor, Euclid, Hoya, Jobson Medical Information, Johnson & Johnson, Menicon, Nevakar, Oculus, PentaVision, Sydnexis, SynergEyes, Visioneering Technologies, Inc.
Poll conducted by GMAC – Golin, with Ipsos, conducted a survey between May 29 – June 2, 2020. A sample of 2,007 parents with a child under 18 years old from the U.S. were interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents.