Why is Myopia increasing?
Distance vision is all a blur to more of us.
A study finds that 17% more Americans have myopia than 30 years ago. Close-up computer/screen work could be a reason.
For an increasing number of Americans, life’s a blur. That’s according to a population-based study published Dec. 2011 showing that rates of myopia — difficulty seeing distant objects — are soaring. The trend is matched in many other countries, causing eye doctors to wonder what could be causing the decline in human vision.
Reported cases of Myopia on the rise
The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, published research showing a sizable increase in rates of myopia (nearsightedness). The study looked at adults in the U.S., comparing the numbers of nearsighted adults over the last thirty years. Myopia rates in people ages 12 to 54 increased from 25 percent in the early 1970’s to 41.6 percent in the five-year period ending in 2004. Scientists are unsure what has caused the increase, although some suspect that computer use or changes in recreational activities may be factors.
Dr. Kadet comments: “We notice repetitive near-point work, such as reading or using a computer, puts excessive strain on the eye focusing and eye alignment systems. This continued eyestrain encourages the development of, and increase, in myopia. Early Vision Evaluations are important! Myopia is most successfully reversed, or maintained at present levels, the earlier it is diagnosed.” Dr. Kadet stresses the importance of early vision evaluations, which Hope Clinic conducts on children as young as infants. “The best treatment for myopia is to discover it early. We can prescribe appropriate preventative lenses, corrective lenses, and vision therapy; as well as refer for contact lens and orthokeratology consultations.”