Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a common eye condition that causes objects in the distance to appear burred, while close objects can be seen clearly. It is caused by the eyeball being slightly longer, or the cornea too curved. This means that when light enters to eye, it doesn’t focus at the back of the eye on the retina as it should, but rather focuses in front of the retina.
Currently approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide are shortsighted, with a growing prevalence of myopia in children. It is estimated that by the year 2050 half the global population will be myopic.
Myopia usually starts to develop in childhood, and can progress gradually or rapidly. The most common symptoms of myopia are squinting, eye strain, headaches and fatigue. It often runs in families, and has been linked to focusing on near objects, e.g. books, writing, use of hand held devices, for long periods of time during childhood. Research has shown that spending time playing outside as a child may reduce your chances of becoming short-sighted, and existing short-sightedness may progress less quickly. This may be related to light levels outdoors being much brighter than indoors. It is also recommended to take regular breaks form excessive close work.