50% of Indians will get this Disease! | Myopia | The Next Pandemic

News Vale
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Recall the days when our parents cautioned us against excessive TV watching, fearing it might harm our eyes and lead to the necessity of wearing glasses. Unfortunately, today, this cautionary tale has transformed into a stark reality, with millions of children worldwide compelled to wear prescription glasses due to a surge in nearsightedness or myopia.

The Myopia Dilemma: 

Myopia, scientifically known as nearsightedness, has reached alarming levels, particularly among children. Shockingly, in India, the prevalence of myopia among 5-15-year-olds has skyrocketed from 4.5% two decades ago to a staggering 21% today. Globally, the prognosis is grim, with predictions suggesting that by 2050, nearly every other person on the planet will require corrective lenses.

Understanding the Mechanism: 

To comprehend the surge in myopia cases, let's delve into how the human eye operates. The eye, functioning akin to a convex lens, relies on the cornea and lens to converge light onto the retina, allowing us to see. However, in myopic individuals, the eyeball's shape changes, causing the focal point to form in front of the retina, resulting in difficulty seeing distant objects.

The Three Theories: 

Exploring the causative factors of myopia, three theories emerge: the Near-Work Theory, the DNA Theory, and the Outside Theory. While Near-Work suggests that prolonged engagement in close activities strains the eyes, the DNA Theory initially posited a genetic link to myopia. However, the Outside Theory, gaining prominence, emphasizes the impact of reduced outdoor exposure, particularly in well-lit environments, on myopia rates.

Scientific Studies and Debates: 

Scientific studies have challenged the Near-Work Theory, revealing that the intensity, not the duration, of close activities contributes more significantly to myopia. However, recent research on the Outside Theory indicates that spending less time outdoors, particularly in bright light, correlates with higher myopia rates.

The Outdoor Solution: 

Countries like China and Singapore have taken preventive measures, emphasizing increased outdoor time for children to combat myopia. Studies show that exposure to bright light boosts dopamine production in the retina, regulating eye growth. The Outside Theory underlines the global shift towards myopia as a disease of affluence, prevalent in societies where academic and indoor activities dominate.

The Severity and Implications: 

Myopia is not merely a matter of inconvenience; it has severe consequences. Recent studies predict that by 2050, 10% of the global population will suffer from high-grade myopia, increasing the risk of irreversible conditions like myopic maculopathy and retinal detachment, potentially leading to blindness.

The Pandemic's Impact: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the myopia crisis, with lockdowns confining children indoors, resulting in a significant spike in myopia rates. In China, a 5-month lockdown saw a 21.5% myopia rate among 6-year-olds, highlighting the urgency of addressing this issue as a global health concern.

Preventative Measures: 

As there is no natural cure for myopia, preventing further progression becomes paramount. Embracing the Outside Theory, individuals are encouraged to spend more time outdoors in well-lit environments. Additionally, reducing the intensity of near-work activities, engaging in physical activities, and adopting a balanced lifestyle can contribute to eye health.

Treatment Options: 

While myopia is irreversible, certain treatments aim to halt its progression. Orthokeratology lenses, artificial Lasik surgery, and special eye drops show promise in slowing down myopia's advancement. However, adopting preventative measures remains the best course of action.


In conclusion, myopia is a growing global concern, and its prevalence is reaching alarming levels, particularly among children. Understanding the root causes, embracing preventative measures, and incorporating outdoor activities into our daily lives can help mitigate the myopia epidemic. It's time to prioritize eye health and address myopia as a pressing public health issue.