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Signify reveals alarming increase in eye-related ailments among Indian children



SignifyA study by Signify reveals alarming increase in eye-related ailments among Indian children under 12

 Poor lighting, too much screen time and lack of green vegetables in diet are leading causes of poor eyesight among children

  • While 68% of Indian parents claim that their child’s eyesight is a key priority for them, only 46% get their child’s eyes tested regularly
  • Doctors advise that consumers should choose light bulbs that are comfortable for their children’s eyes

 Mumbai,  21st November, 2019 – On the occasion of World Children’s Week, Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting (formerly known as Philips Lighting), reveals an alarming increase in eye-related ailments among Indian children under 12 years of age[1]. Young children in India spend close to 14 hours indoors, under artificial light and in front of multiple screens. This growing health concern amongst children is compounded by a lack of concern from their parents, with only 46% of them getting their child’s eyes tested regularly. With more than half their day spent indoors, the quality of lighting becomes an important factor in maintaining eye health.

 As per ophthalmologists in India, poor lighting, too much screen time and lack of green vegetables in diet emerged as the leading factors that can negatively impact eyesight in children under 12 years. 58% of ophthalmologists surveyed recommended limiting screen time, as children of this age group are especially vulnerable and increased screen exposure can have a long-term impact on their eyesight. An overwhelming majority of ophthalmologists (90%) agreed that lighting can play an important role in maintaining eye health and that flicker, too much brightness and incorrect positioning of light source can hurt eyes in the long term. This is also substantiated by parents, with 89% of them agreeing that lighting has a direct impact on their child’s ability to concentrate on tasks and 92% of them would be willing to pay more for lighting products if they knew it would improve their child’s overall sense of wellbeing.

 Reduction in screen time, adequate sleeping hours and ensuring a protein-rich diet are small steps that parents can take to protect their child’s eyesight. Ophthalmologists also advise choosing the right light for the right task, such as white light for reading and yellow light for relaxing and also ensuring that the light source is positioned correctly, especially while watching TV or reading.

 Speaking about the research on the occasion of World Children’s week, Sumit Padmakar Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Signify Innovations India Limited, said, “The type of lighting we use can have a significant impact on our daily life and children are especially vulnerable as they are now spending close to 14 hours in front of screens. Reports suggest that children with poor eyesight are more likely to suffer from poor academic performance and school absenteeism. Hence it is important that parents choose optimum lighting products for their home, that can reduce glare or flicker which can lead to eye discomfort and headaches. We recently introduced our Philips EyePro LED bulb with interlaced optics. This patented technology, inspired by the pattern of sunflower seeds, naturally diffuses light. This makes it ideal for high concentration tasks such as reading and writing. It can reduce glare by up to 35% and ensures no flicker, making it comfortable for eyes.”

As per the research, Indians families prioritize factors like brightness, brand, efficiency and price of a light bulb above eye comfort, while making purchase decisions. However, ophthalmologists advise that consumers should choose bulbs that are comfortable for their and their children’s eyes, rather than using cheap, unbranded lights that can be harmful for eyes.


About the research

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Hansa Research. Total sample size was 1,000 parents and 300 ophthalmologists in India. The research was conducted across ten cities: New Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. Fieldwork was undertaken in May – June 2019.  Face to face interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire with the eligible respondents.