Archive July 2, 2021

Surge in Nearsightedness

Surge in Nearsightedness

Around the world there is a rise of nearsightedness (myopia) due to the increase of smart phones, computers, and video games.

Over a billion people worldwide are now nearsighted and it is anticipated by 2020 that a third of the world’s population will be nearsighted. Percentages are higher in industrialized nations like the US. The largest increases in nearsightedness were in African Americans.

University of California researchers are concerned with young children and the use of ipads and tablets since their eyes are still evolving. Eyes interpret near activity as the normal state, thus resulting in the advancement of nearsightedness. According to the “Japan Times” the Japanese City of Kariya has banned the use of smart phones for all elementary and junior high school students after 9 p.m.

Studies from around the world, including the US, show spending time outdoors has a preventative effect on nearsightedness. At least spending two hours a day outside is all that maybe required, but there are no studies that prove this for sure. It is believed this may be due to higher light levels, compared to indoors, hormonal changes, or simply engaging in activities requiring better distance vision.

Development of nearsightedness is also related to genetics, it is unsure which plays a greater role: lifestyle or parents genes. The earlier people become nearsighted, the greater the risk their nearsightedness can be. People with moderate to severe nearsightedness have a much higher risk of developing retinal tears, retinal detachments and macular degeneration.  All of these can lead to permanent vision loss as well.

A persons eyes typically become stable in their late teens or early 20’s and the vision can be corrected by LASIK. To determine if you are a candidate for LASIK, call to schedule an evaluation with one of our Board-Certified Refractive Surgeons, Dr. Marnix Heersink, Dr. Zsolt Bansagi or Dr. Sebastian Heersink at Eye Center South at 1-800-NEW-EYES.

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