What Causes Myopia?

What Causes Myopia or Nearsightedness

This week, I wanted to dive deeper into how someone becomes nearsighted.

Typically, myopia develops between 8 to 16 years of age and increases until 20-25 years. While progression rates can vary widely, rate of increase is typically rapid at first and slows down over time. Early onset of myopia is linked to a longer period and faster rates of progression.

The primary factor in myopia development is genetics – children inherit the tendency to become nearsighted from their parents. Having one myopic parent increases a child’s potential to become nearsighted by 3x, and two myopic parents increases their risk to 6x. Ethnicity also plays a role in myopia development.

Additionally, the way we use our eyes also plays a role in myopia development. Frequent, detailed near-work or digital device use (computers, tablets, phones) has been tied to nearsightedness.

Research has also established that increased time spent outdoors can prevent or prolong the onset of myopia, although no direct tie to slowing progression has been established.

Now that we have established HOW we become nearsighted, we can move on to the good stuff– WHY it’s such a big deal and WHAT we can do about it.

-Aamena Kazmi, OD, Dipolomate ABO
Therapeutic Optometrist at BFEC

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