Life Out-of-Focus – the MYOPIA Boom

There’s an “epidemic” of MYOPIA — By 2050, it’s predicted that half the world’s population will be near-sighted. In China, up to 90% of its youth are already “short-sighted” to some degree.

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Having been extremely near-sighted all of my life, I know well the problems that it causes, but also how to cope with most of them.

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And I find the near-hysteria of some of the reporting to be a bit extreme. Yes, it is a problem. Yes, prevention and “cures” need to be researched. Most of us do depend heavily on ours eyes for much of the information we take in, but they have never been the only source available. I’m not saying it isn’t a serious problem, I’m just saying reporting Myopia like it’s as threatening as the Zika or Ebola viruses is counter-productive.

Reading books, watching television, and especially spending hours staring at an array of electronic devices like computer screens, tablets and smartphones, are all being blamed, and correlations have been found between all of them and near-sightedness.



But it turns out the biggest risk factor, according to several studies, may be spendingtoo much time indoors. Bright sunlight and the greater viewing distances outdoors could be the best prevention available.


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sunrise photo by Amanda Bauer

I wonder if Seasonal Affective Disorder —  “SAD” —  might be “the canary in the coal mine,” an early warning from Mother Nature that we need to spend more time in actual daylight, looking off into the distance? You can take the prehistoric hunter-gatherers out of the sunlight, but you can’t take the need for sunlight out of their descendants?

The good news is, sunlight is still free — and we’ll have to keep some long sight lines open — yet another reason to curb putting up skyscrapers everywhere.



SOURCES:

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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2 Responses to Life Out-of-Focus – the MYOPIA Boom

  1. ann summers says:

    digital devices need to be used less even outdoors since it’s about horizons…
    nearsightedness has been with me since the age of 5, but now with age seems to have moved away only slightly which does save on new glasses

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    I’ve been “blind as a bat” most of my life, but it wasn’t discovered until I was 9 years old – I always sat in the front row in school until the 4th grade, and it never occurred to me that the way I saw the world was any different from other people.

    Putting on eyeglasses for the first time was like going from living in an Impressionist painting to living in a Life magazine color photograph. I never knew you were supposed to be able to see the individual leaves on trees without being close enough to touch them.

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