Myopia: The silent epidemic that’s taking over the world's children
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Myopia: The silent epidemic that’s taking over the world

Myopia takes over the world

Myopia, a silent epidemic, has been taking over the world and affecting the health of millions. We may not be aware of it yet, but we should be. Approximately 2 billion people worldwide have already been affected.

We’re talking about myopia, or short-sightedness, a condition where people have difficulty seeing objects at a distance. It may seem insignificant, but half of the world’s population, or 5 billion people, is expected to be short-sighted by 2050.

If that doesn’t concern you enough, by 2050, about 1 billion, or one-fifth of those with myopia, are likely to develop high myopia, a form of severe short-sightedness. This greatly increases the risk of developing other eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. It can even lead to blindness.

Blindness is irreversible. While silent, the onset of myopia takes away one of the fundamental human senses: to see.

What fuels the Myopia Epidemic?


So what contributes to the development of myopia? Some of the contributing factors include lifestyle factors, according to experts. Technologies, such as smartphones, tablet computers, and laptops are becoming increasingly important in our daily lives.

Barely an hour goes by before you need to use your device for school, work, or leisure. Near work and looking at screens for hours each day while not spending sufficient time outdoors contributes greatly to the myopia problem.

So all the hours your children spend on devices without taking breaks to go outside damages their eyes. Not monitoring your child’s device usage can result in greater vulnerability in developing myopia.

Stopping the epidemic in its tracks

The scenario may seem dire, but there are ways to manage the silent epidemic, myopia, in children.

An effective way would be changing your children’s lifestyle habits. Reducing children’s screen time and ensuring they get 2 hours of outdoor activity every day is particularly important in early childhood. Good strategies also include ensuring your children do not hold their devices too close to their faces and increasing their outdoor time where they can look at objects that are further away. A parental control app that allows you to keep track of your children’s screen time is also a good investment that can give you peace of mind even when you are away from your child.

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