In recent years, it has become increasingly clearer that poor eyesight is a growing problem. In 2012, scientists found near-sightedness in nearly 90% of Asian children, particularly in Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
A more recent study projects that by 2050, half of the world will be near-sighted, about 4.8 billion people. About 938 million people will have high myopia, exposing them to serious eye problems, like glaucoma, retinal detachment, and cataracts. While generally safe, TheEyeClinic.com.sg says modern cataract surgery still has risks.
In 2010, only two billion people had myopia, while 277 million people had high myopia. With the rising numbers, it seems like an epidemic is sweeping over the globe.
Near-sightedness: is genetics still to blame?
For a long time, it was believed that near-sightedness was mostly a hereditary problem. Today, studies suggest that the environment can play a bigger part in causing it.
In Singapore, for instance, three ethnic groups (Chinese, Malay and Indian) are equally affected by the condition, leading experts to conclude that a shared environmental factor is behind it. In Asian children, the main culprit is the pressure to succeed in academics, making them spend hours hunched over studying materials and not getting nearly enough sun.
Interestingly, East Asian countries with the most incidence of near-sightedness rank the highest in the international of academic performance.
The same situation is present in adults, who spend most of their days scanning spreadsheets and analysing documents. In this success and career-oriented culture, perfect eyesight is increasingly harder to attain.
Protecting against eye fatigue
As any adult in the corporate world leading a busy life, do whatever you can do to keep your vision sharp. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This won’t improve your vision but can reduce eye fatigue, an important part of eye care.
Moreover, a healthy diet will always benefit you. Load up on omega-3 fatty acids and vegetables like broccoli, carrots and kale.
Finally, get your eyes checked by a specialist every now and then. In the end, it’s the best way to know your eye condition and how to take steps to improve it.