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Why Are Myopia Rates Increasing?

Why Are Myopia Rates Increasing?

Why Are Myopia Rates Increasing?

Why Are Myopia Rates Increasing?

Nearsightedness or myopia is a refractive error causing one to see distant objects as blurry while those close to them appear clear. It affects many people worldwide and continues to grow. Estimates show that by 2050, 50 percent of people worldwide will have myopia. The increase is significant compared to previous years. But the question remains: Why are myopia rates increasing? 


Environmental Factors


Myopia rates have increased due to environmental factors such as the widespread use of digital devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones. They lead to the elongation of the eye due to the blue light they emit that interferes with the eye’s circadian rhythm. This results in myopia.

Additionally, the lack of exposure to natural light and lack of time outdoors increases nearsightedness. Research shows that children who spend most of their time indoors have a high risk of developing myopia compared to those who spend more time outside. Natural light is vital in helping with regulating the eye's circadian rhythm. It averts the development of myopia by preventing the eye's elongation.




Nearsightedness runs in families. One reason it continues to increase worldwide is genetics. It can get passed down from parents to their offspring. Studies show that 70 to 80 percent of myopia variance is from genetic factors—confirmation that it runs along bloodlines. A child has a high risk of developing the condition if he/she has one or both parents with it.


Academic Pressure


Myopia continues to increase worldwide due to the rising academic pressure that forces most adolescents and children to spend most of their time indoors reading. It has reduced outdoor activity and increased the time spent using digital screens.

Academic pressure increases anxiety and stress. This further negatively impacts eyesight. Stress leads to eye fatigue and strain by tensing up the eye muscles. The eye elongates over time, setting the stage for myopia development.




Diet can impact the development of myopia. You can experience oxidative stress from eating a diet low in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This can cause the development of myopia. Lacking nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D can also increase the risk of myopia development.




Increased myopia rates actively link to urbanization. The fast growth of urban areas and cities connects to advancements in technology and the use of digital devices. All these translate to more people spending less time outside. Consequently, it increases the risk of myopia. Living in urban setups also reduces exposure to natural light and outdoor activities. This further pushes up myopia rates, especially for children.


Neglecting Regular Eye Exams


Most people skip their routine eye examinations. Many believe that eye tests have no use if they have no physical manifestation of vision problems. Unfortunately, this is a danger to eye health and vision. 

Routine eye exams help detect vision problems early enough during the development stages. Early detection helps with prompt treatment to slow myopia progression and reduce the risk for associated eye conditions.

For more about myopia, visit Patel Vision Group at in Visalia, California. Call (599) 739-8550 to schedule an appointment today.

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