Myopia

Management of Myopia (or shortsightedness)

Myopia is when we cannot see clearly in the distance without vision correction. In myopia the eye becomes too long and the light rays focus in front of the retina.

There is an epidemic of myopia in this generation.

In parts of South east Asia (e.g. Taiwan and Singapore) the incidence of myopia is currently 80% in secondary age students with many children beginning to show myopia at earlier ages (from age 5 and 6).

In Australia the incidence of myopia is far less-about 15% of the population and more commonly myopia starts around puberty.

Genetics and lifestyle

Myopia has a genetic predisposition but even more so myopia is linked to lifestyle and environment.

Recent studies have shown that time outdoors in some outdoor sport or leisure activity-has a strong protective effect against myopia (it was recommended that one hour per day be spent outdoors). So farming communities have significantly less myopia than do urbanised communities where there is also a greater time spent indoors studying and using the computer or watching TV.

So...the common sense conclusions are spend time outside each day playing and relaxing. Study and watch TV in moderation and try to include active leisure breaks outdoors rather than simply transferring from a study book to the computer chat line.

What are the treatments for myopia?

Links

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