Posted by: Caster Eye Center in eye health, good vision, technology

Closeup portrait of young women with glasses.

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, means that you see better near than far. This is corrected using glasses, contact lenses, or through refractive surgery such as LASIK surgery in Los Angeles, PRK, SMILE, or ICL. There is an international epidemic of nearsightedness sweeping the world.

Nearsightedness usually develops in children or young adults. Approximately one-third of adults are nearsighted, and this percentage has been rapidly increasing over the past several decades. What is going on here? Why are more people all over the world becoming nearsighted? The short answer is: we don’t know. What we do know is that several factors, including genetics and the environment, play a role.

Is Nearsightedness Genetic?

People with nearsighted parents have an increased chance of becoming nearsighted themselves. But having nearsighted parents does not guarantee that you will become nearsighted. People whose parents are not nearsighted can certainly develop the condition. Siblings often vary in whether they have nearsightedness or not, or in the degree of nearsightedness. So, something else must be going on.

The obvious culprits to look at are computers and cell phones. There is, however, precious little evidence proving that these are direct culprits.

Do Screens Cause Nearsightedness?

Exposure to sunlight for a least one or two hours per day decreases the likelihood of developing nearsightedness. Studies from around the world have repeatedly illustrated this. Of course, this is not absolute. You cannot guarantee that your child will avoid nearsightedness by allowing them to play outdoors more often.

However, around the world, as people move off of farms and pursue more indoor activities, exposure to the outdoors decreases. Even in the economically developed world, exposure to sunlight correlates with less nearsightedness. So maybe computers and cell phones are indirectly involved, especially in economically developed countries. These are places where children now spend an inordinate amount of time indoors on computers and cell phones. Being outside or simply playing outdoors really is good for you.

LASIK Eye Surgery in Los Angeles

To learn more about maintaining healthy vision and to see if LASIK eye surgery is right for you, get in touch with Dr. Caster right away. As a sub-specialist in laser vision correction, Dr. Caster is among the most knowledgeable LASIK eye doctors in the world when it comes to personalized eye care.