There is evidence that the prevalence of myopia is increasing significantly over just the past few decades. Rate of myopia increasing rapidly. The article (written in 2009 by Susan Vitale) states that 1999-2004 rates were 41% versus 25% when done in 1971-1972. Interesting indeed!
So if this is happening at such an alarming rate. The question is why?
There hasn’t been that significant change in the gene pool in the United States in that short period of time, which points to environmental factors causing changes in prevalence of nearsightedness or myopia. Studies done in Europe have shown a correlation between children who spend more time outdoors as having significantly less risk for myopia.
Studies in monkeys where they cover a eye with a patch have shown that the covered eye becomes significantly more myopic than the fellow eye.
Myopia is multifactorial as for the reasons, but this is clearly a problem. Myopic patients have a higher incidence of retinal detachment, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. These are ocular diseases that can lead to irreversible vision loss. So this trend is alarming and worth deeper research.
Serving the communities of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin, Santa Ana, Hungtington Beach, and Fountain Valley. Schedule a visit with Dr. Valerie Lam or Dr. Thanh Mai to learn more. Our optometry practice is located in Costa Mesa at 3151 Airway Ave. Suite J2, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.