Half of the Earth's Population Will Be Nearsighted by 2050

Myopia or farsightedness is an issue where the eyeball is elongated resulting in the patient not being able to see distant objects. According to a report published by Nature, by 2050 it is estimated that 50% or around 5 billion of the earth's population will suffer from nearsightedness compared to 30% now.

An increase in cases of farsightedness has been reported around the world with Hong Kong doubling among six-year-olds compared to before the pandemic. This is believed to happen because children no longer spend as much time outside as compared to previous generations. The pandemic has made it the new norm for children to stay indoors most of the time.

Scientists have theorized that the practice of sitting outside for several hours a day will prevent farsightedness from occurring. The theory says that the eyes will grow in parallel with the age of the child. Seeing distant objects does not require the eyes to focus on just one object. This signals the eye to stop elongating.

Children who sit for a long time in closed places need to constantly focus on various objects in the environment. As a result the eyes will continue to lengthen until they become myopic. Researchers suggest that changes should be made starting in schools with classrooms using glass walls, wallpaper displaying outdoor scenes and also special lighting systems.

In other words if you have farsightedness genetics, make sure you spend a lot of time outside for a few hours a day. Spending time looking at laptop and phone screens will cause you to contribute to a 50% myopic population by 2050.

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