Myopia Series Part 1 – What Causes Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness is a common eye focussing disorder where an individual see’s clearly when looking at objects close to their eyes, but objects father away are blurred because rays of light incorrectly focus on the back of the eye, as seen in the diagram below.

Optically, this may be due to either the eye being longer than normal or the shape of the cornea (front of the eye) and/or lens is such that light rays focus at the incorrect position.

Extensive research have identified the following factors that are influential in the development of myopia:

  • Genetics: If one parent is myopic, there is 3x risk of their child developing myopia, this increases to 6x if both parents are myopic.
  • Environment: Individuals whom spend less than 90 minutes per day outside during daylight hours are at greater risk of developing myopia.
  • Time Spend on Near Visual Tasks: Children that spend more than 2-3 hours per day (outside school hours) on near visual tasks such as Reading, Homework, Gaming, and Computer work are at higher risk of developing myopia.
  • Visual Function skills: Children with poor eye focussing (accommodation) and inefficient eye alignment (teaming) skills are also at greater risk of developing myopia. During your eye examination, our optometrist will be able to conduct an in-depth assessment of these visual skills.

Coming up soon in Part 2 of our myopia series, The Impact of Myopia on Eye Health.


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