Short sightedness – technically called myopia – affects around three in 10 adults in the UK. It means that distant objects can appear blurry whilst close work generally remains unaffected. On the face of it, this doesn’t sound worrying. However, myopia can create long-term eye health problems, and a recent study estimated that myopia will affect the vision of nearly half the global population by 2050. In the UK, myopia is more than twice as prevalent in children than it was in the 1960s. This steady rise in the number of children becoming more myopic is of growing concern to eye care professionals, children and parents.
We know from research that the higher the level of myopia in a child, the higher the risk level of eye disease later in life, but why are more children becoming myopic than in the past?