Category Archives: Computer Vision Syndrome

Nearly Half of the Global Population May Be Nearsighted by 2050, Researchers Say

February 2016 — Researchers at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Sydney, Australia, recently poured over data from 145 studies and analyzed the prevalence of myopia and high myopia among 2.1 million study participants. The group also used data published since 1995 to estimate trends from 2000 to 2050.

Eyeglasses on a globe map of the earth

What they found was alarming.

An estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide were nearsighted in 2000. That’s about 23 percent of the total global population. But by 2050, the researchers predict this figure will soar to 4.8 billion, afflicting 49.8 percent of the world’s population.

The good news is, there are ways to protect your children from landing on the wrong side of this statistic. One key may be to encourage them to turn off their electronic devices and head outdoors.

The study points out that the projected increases in myopia are driven principally by lifestyle changes characterized by more near-work activities, like using computers and portable electronic devices, including smart phones. Other proposed risk factors for myopia include long hours spent in the classroom and less time outdoors, especially among young children in countries such as Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and China.

Although the vision of most people with nearsightedness can be restored with glasses and contact lenses, high levels of myopia increase the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration — all of which can cause irreversible vision loss.

The study report authors concluded that the prevalence of high myopia is likely to increase seven-fold from 2000 to 2050, which would make myopia a leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide. The report appeared online this month on the website of the journal Ophthalmology.

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Have you got ‘screen sightedness’? Smartphones are causing sight problems to soar, warns eye surgeon !

  • David Allamby says there has been a 35% increase in the number of people with advancing myopia since the launch of smartphones in 1997
  • He believes the problem could increase by 50% in the next ten years
  • The problem is so common he has given it a name – ‘screen sightedness’
  • 50% of 30-year-olds could have the problem by 2033 due to smartphones

Rates of short sightedness among young people have soared because of smartphones, a leading laser eye surgeon has claimed.  David Allamby, Founder of Focus Clinics, says there has been a 35 per cent increase in the number of people with advancing myopia (short sightedness) since the launch of smartphones in 1997. He has warned the problem could increase by 50 per cent in the next ten years. Mr Allamby thinks the problem is so widespread that he has dubbed it ‘screen sightedness’.He says that half of Britons own smartphones and that they spend an average of two hours a day using them. This, along with time spent using computers and watching television, is putting children and young people at risk of permanently damaging their sight. New research found that the average smartphone user holds the handset 30 cm from their face – with some people holding it just 18cm away – compared to newspapers and books, which are held 40cm away from the eyes. According to Mr Allamby, excessive screen watching at close proximity keeps the genes that control myopia activated well beyond the age that short-sighted would historically have stabilised – about 21. Myopia used to stop developing in people’s early 20s but now it is now seen progressing throughout the 20s, 30s, and even 40s. Mr Allamby said: ‘If things continue as they are, I predict that 40 to 50 per cent of 30-year-olds could have myopia by 2033 as a result of smartphones and lifestyles in front of screens – an epidemic we call screen sightedness.

It is predicted that by 2014 teenagers aged 12 to 17 will be the second biggest market for smartphones behind 18 to 24-year-olds. Mr Allamby’s claims are supported by previous research which has shown that using a smartphone can damage people’s vision and cause headaches. Researchers at the University of California found that the problem is the demand on the eyes to focus on the screen and simultaneously adjust to the distance of the content.The phenomenon is known as ‘vergence-accommodation’ and experiments found people suffered discomfort when content from mobile phones appeared in front of the screen rather than behind it.

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