By 2050, half of the world's population will be near-sighted

Research found that more than 90% of parents of children under 18 are unaware of the negative consequences of prolonged time in front of a screen.

By OFER LIVNAT/MAARIV
July 30, 2019 19:18
1 minute read.
By 2050, half of the world's population will be near-sighted

Facebook logo is reflected in glasses in this picture illustration taken April 1, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS)



Freedom these days allows many children to spend time, perhaps too much time, in front of a screen. It is now becoming apparent that there is a frightening proportion of parents who are completely unaware of the negative consequences this has on their children's vision.

 An international study by the Copper Vision Development Company recently examined more than a thousand parents of children under 18 in Australia and New Zealand, due to an increase in the proportion of children diagnosed with myopia, or nearsightedness.

The study found that half of the parents (49%) were unaware of the causes of myopia, and 91% were unaware of the effects of prolonged screen time.



 According to the data, about half of the population will suffer from shortsightedness by 2050. The authors noted that the high numbers were due, among other things, to inactivity outside of the home, low sunlight exposure and increased use of cellular devices.

"We are seeing an ever-increasing rate of myopia worldwide. In about 30 years, as many as five billion people are expected to suffer from myopia," warned Ortal Sabag, senior optometrist and director of research at Copper Vision.

"Myopia is a risk factor for eye disease that can lead to vision loss. There will be more cases of eye disease, and this trend is increasing in children. In the past, there were fewer cases of myopia in children, because they spent many hours in daylight outside the home and they didn’t stay on their phones like they do today. As myopia appears earlier it will become more common, and with it the risk of eye disease grows as well,” she said.


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