Myopia, or nearsightedness, has increased more than 66% in the United States since 1971. In the 1970’s 25% of US citizens had myopia and now over 40% have myopia. Nearly 30% of the world’s population is nearsighted and it is estimated to rise to over 50% by 2050, which is nearly 5 billion people.
East Asian countries including China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have a prevalence of myopia between 80 – 90%. Genetics is the strongest risk factor for myopia, however, increased near work especially with digital devices may play a part into increasing numbers.
Untreated myopia can prevent children reaching their full potential in school and life. It can cause fatigue and strain with the visual system and lead to headaches and even more serious health conditions.
As myopia increases, so do the risks for:
- Retinal detachments
- Macular degeneration
- Cataracts can develop sooner