An incredible 1.6 billion people worldwide suffer from some form of nearsightedness (myopia), which can vary from being mild to severe.
Myopia is the world’s most common eyesight problem, but in the last two decades there has been a significant increase in the number of children being diagnosed with the condition.
Recent research suggests that a quarter of children now need glasses to correct blurred distance vision caused by myopia.
A study carried out has found that a lack of outdoor activity (less than 45 minutes a day) and a general increase in the amount of time (more than 2 hours a day) spent using near vision (video games, computers) can affect eye development in children.
Reducing the risk of myopia
There is a genetic link to the development of myopia, with those who have a familial history of the eye condition being more likely to suffer from it too.
For children who are predisposed to developing myopia, it was suggested that they spend at least 15 hours a week outside and minimize the amount of time doing long stints of activities that require near vision.
Simple changes, such as increasing the amount of time outdoors and limiting the use of liquid crystal monitors at close range (laptops, computer games etc) can help reduce the risk of developing myopia.