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Half the World to be Short-sighted by 2050

  • Author:Ya
  • Source:British Daily Telegra
  • Release on:2016-03-20
   By 2050, half of the world’s population (nearly 5 billion) will be short-sighted, research suggests, and screens are to blame.

   Up to one-fifth of the short-sighted population (1 billion) is at a significantly increased risk of blindness, says the study published in the journal Ophthalmology.

   The rapid increase in the prevalence of myopia globally is attributed to, "environmental factors (nurture), principally lifestyle changes resulting from a combination of decreased time outdoors and increased near work activities" – time spent looking at screens, say the authors from University of New South Wales Australia and Singapore Eye Research Institute.
   High income countries are most at risk of myopia, the researchers say, simply because the people living in those countries spend more time looking at their television, or phone, or laptop.

   Near work has been thought to be a cause of myopia, or at least a risk factor, for more than 100 years, said researchers.

   Though the study said that less time spent outside is correlated with myopia, it is not yet clear why exactly this is the case.

   We need to ensure our children receive a regular eye examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, preferably each year, so that preventative strategies can be employed if they are at risk, said a researcher.

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