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The Rise in Myopia

Myopia, better known as nearsightedness, is one of the most common vision issues, occurring when light coming into the eye doesn't focus directly on the retina. Fortunately, the condition is easily detectable during an eye exam and can be easily treated through prescription glasses or lenses.

Myopia is typically inherited, with kids having a 60% chance of being nearsighted if both of their parents are as well. Over the last few decades we have been seeing a rise in those with the condition. Being in such a technologically driven age, there is now evidence that our visual habits impact the occurrence of myopia, with environmental factors and genetics both being the cause.

In the 1970s, 25% of those between the ages of 12 and 54 were nearsighted, by the year 2000 we saw that number jump up to over 42% of people. According to the National Eye Institute, the number of those affected by myopia is expected to continue rising.

Much of the reason behind this increase is that of digital eye strain. On average, our generation is spending nearly 9 hours a day staring at some form of a digital device such as computers, phones, tablets, and televisions. When you focus longer on digital screens, there is a disturbance in natural blinking and strain is placed on the eyes.

Additionally, there has been an increase of eye strain in younger children whose eyes are still developing. Since the eyes are adaptive, nearsightedness is interpreted as the normal state of vision for developing eyes when excessive time is spent looking at digital devices.

If you believe you may be experiencing eye strain or are due for an eye exam, contact Wilmarth Eye and Laser Center at (916) 850-3060 to schedule your appointment with Sacramento ophthalmologist, Dr. Stephen Wilmarth. We serve those residing in and around the areas of Roeseville, Rocklin, Folsom, and Sacramento, CA.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.