The Growing Epidemic of Myopia: Causes and Solutions

The prevalence of myopia, or nearsightedness, is increasing rapidly among children worldwide. In India, the prevalence rate of myopia in children aged 5-15 has risen from 4.5% to over 21% in the past 20 years. This alarming trend suggests that by 2050, every other person worldwide will need glasses. Various theories exist to explain the rise in myopia, including excessive near-work activities like reading and screen time, genetic factors, and lack of outdoor time. However, the most widely accepted theory is that spending less time outdoors and reduced exposure to daylight is the primary cause. Studies have shown that spending more time outside can reduce the risk of myopia. While myopia is irreversible, preventative measures such as reducing near-work activities and increasing outdoor time are recommended to prevent the progression of the condition.

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How does this happen?

Key Insights:

  • The prevalence rate of myopia (nearsightedness) has significantly increased in children, with one in five children in India needing prescription glasses.
  • The shape of the eyeball changes in myopia, causing the focal point to be formed before the retina.
  • The three theories explaining myopia are the Near-Work Theory, DNA Theory, and the Outside Theory.
  • The Outside Theory suggests that spending less time outdoors, resulting in reduced exposure to daylight, is a significant factor in the increasing rates of myopia.
  • Scientific studies have found that spending time outdoors can reduce the risk of myopia in children.
  • Myopia is associated with an increased risk of blindness and other eye diseases.
  • Preventative measures include spending more time outdoors and reducing the intensity of near work activities like reading and using screens.
  • Myopia is irreversible, but artificial procedures like LASIK surgery and special lenses like Ortho-K lenses can help manage and slow down its progression.
  • The best option to prevent myopia is to follow preventative measures and prioritize spending time outdoors.


Hello, friends! Do you remember when you were younger, your parents often told you not to watch TV too much because it would affect your eyes? They said you would have to wear glasses. Well, unfortunately, that truth is becoming a reality today. Millions of kids have to wear glasses due to nearsightedness. There are so many nearsighted kids these days, having trouble seeing things that are far away. In fact, myopia, or nearsightedness, has increased significantly in kids. In India, the prevalence rate of myopia among kids aged 5-15 used to be around 4.5% 20 years ago. Today, it has crossed 21%. That means one in five children in the country has to wear prescription glasses. Myopia is now considered an epidemic, and it is predicted that by 2050, every other human being in the world will have glasses.

But why is this happening? Can you naturally cure your eyes if you already wear glasses? And if you don’t need glasses yet, how can you protect your eyes in the world of smartphones? Today, we will answer these questions by understanding the latest scientific studies.

To understand this topic in detail, we must first understand how human eyes work. A human eye works like a convex lens, converging light rays at a focal point on the retina. The cornea, not the lens, is responsible for most of the bending of light in our eyes. If your eyes are not working properly, it means the shape of the cornea or the eyeball has changed. In myopia, the eyeball elongates, causing the focal point to fall before the retina.

There are three theories behind myopia. The first is the Near-Work Theory, suggesting that spending too much time looking at things near us strains our eyes and elongates the eyeball. The second is the DNA Theory, stating that myopia is related to genetics and hereditary. However, this theory has been debunked by studies showing significant changes in myopia rates among populations exposed to different lifestyles. The third and most prominent theory is the Outside Theory, which suggests that spending less time outdoors and not getting enough daylight exposure is the main cause of myopia.

Numerous studies have shown that spending time outdoors reduces the risk of myopia. Exposure to bright light increases dopamine production in the retina, which regulates eye growth and prevents elongation. Countries like China and Singapore have implemented programs to encourage outdoor activities and reduce near-work activities among children to combat myopia.

Regarding solutions, preventative measures are crucial: spend time outdoors and reduce the intensity of near-work activities. Physical activities and sports help relax the eyes and prevent strain. Unfortunately, myopia is irreversible, but you can prevent it from worsening by following these measures. Artificial treatments like LASIK surgery and orthokeratology lenses can restore normal vision temporarily but should be accompanied by preventative measures for long-term effectiveness.

It is essential to take myopia seriously as it has been linked to an increased risk of blindness and other eye diseases. Studies predict that by 2050, 10% of the world population will have high-grade myopia, leading to significant health consequences.

Remember, genetics play a role, but the Outside Theory has the highest impact. By prioritizing outdoor activities and reducing near-work activities, we can mitigate the increasing prevalence of myopia. So, protect your eyes and take care of them from an early age.

Thank you for watching!