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.
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.
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 spending too much time indoors. Bright sunlight and the greater viewing distances outdoors could be the best prevention available.
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.