Myopia

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is blurry long-distance vision, often called ‘short-sightedness’ or ‘near-sightedness’. A person with myopia can typically see clearly up close – when reading a book or looking at a laptop screen – but words and objects look fuzzy on a whiteboard, on television, across the room, when looking outdoors or when driving. 

Why is myopia a concern?

The rate of myopia is growing across the world, increasing from 22% of the world’s population in 2000 to 33% in 2020 – half of the world’s population expected to be myopic by 2050.1 Most myopia is caused by the eye length growing too quickly in childhood. The eyes are meant to grow from birth until the early teens and then cease, but in myopia the eyes grow too much and/or continue growing into the teenage years. Once a child becomes myopic, their vision typically deteriorates every 6-12 months, requiring a stronger and stronger prescription. Most myopic children tend to stabilize by the late teens and early 20’s.2 Excessive eye growth raises concern because even small amounts of stretching can lead to increased likelihood of vision threatening eye diseases in later life, such as myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and cataract.

What Are Myopia Risk Factors?

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