The vision of new generations of ametropes will evolve naturally, moulded by social and environmental phenomena that will necessitate prompt modifications in refraction and correction techniques.
This is the headline that the Zaccagnini Institute will present at the XXII Interdisciplinary Congress, being held on the 14th and 15th April, 2019 in the new Savoia Regency Auditorium in Bologna, and that will be the point of convergence of debates, presentations and workshops by numerous Italian and international speakers from different scientific and professional fields. In fact, as always, the Interdisciplinary Congress will capitalize on the major conceptual facility of its interdisciplinary nature, which allows issues to be dealt with from a broad range of approaches.
As known, about eighty percent of the information that is received by the brain is provided by the sense of sight and the function of this sense, vision, is strongly influenced by the environment during its development.
In the last twenty years, economic cycles and social changes have followed one another at an ever faster pace and have given rise to new generations, variously called Millennials, Centennials, the Alpha Generation and so on in the media. The focus of studies and analysis, these generations have new and different values with respect to those of their parents’ generations, but also to those of the immediately preceding generations. These differences derive from two (interconnected) circumstances: the phenomenon of urbanism induced by city territory, with the growing prevalence of life spent indoors in huge offices, shopping centres, underground transport and entertainment venues, and the replacement of paper and traditional information of various types with digital information provided via screens and VDU’s, including the interactive ‘blackboards’ used in schools.
The consequences of digitization of all kinds of communication on these new generations – with the eyes and sight exposed to a change in the visual environment from the physiologically circumscribed dimensions of “near” and “far” to the single, or predominant, dimension of extremely close imposed by the multipurpose use of VDU’s, mobile telephones, computers, television sets and the infinite number of control panels on machinery – is modifying the parameters on which the assessment of vision is based.
With a touch of romanticism, it could be even argued that the human gaze has moved from the infinity of the large spaces to 50 centimetres from our nose.
Certainly, this change has been demonstrated to have a series of effects on vision and on the ways and times of the manifestation of visual defects of such dimensions that it is/will be essential to revise, renew and adapt examinations, controls, protocols and anything else necessary to respond to this phenomenon that, among other things, involves young age groups who are not inclined to accept diktats regarding the care of their health but rather seek alternatives, going against the current.