What is Myopia?
Myopia, commonly called shortsightedness, is when you cannot see things clearly in the distance. You may struggle to read road signs and the white board in class, but will be able to see well for close up tasks such as reading and computer work.
There is an epidemic of myopia in this generation.
It affects 30% of the world’s population and in parts of South East Asia (e.g. Taiwan and Singapore) 80% of secondary schools students suffer from myopia, with many children beginning to show myopia at earlier ages (from age 5 and 6).
What are the Causes?
In myopia the eye becomes too long and the light rays focus in front of the retina. Myopia has a genetic predisposition but even more so myopia is linked to environmental factors, with increased myopia being caused by children spending less time outside.
Recent studies have shown that time spent outdoors has a strong protective effect against myopia (it was recommended that one hour per day be spent outdoors).ABC Article: Short-sightedness, or myopia, a global epidemic as children spend less time outdoors
What are the Symptoms & Treatments for Myopia?
As well as having difficulty seeing distance objects, other signs include squinting, eyestrain and headaches.
Myopia can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.