5 Billion People, Or Half The World May Become Short-Sighted By 2050

Posted: Feb 18 2016, 9:51am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Half the world could go blind after 2050
Photo credit: Getty Images

Researchers from Brien Holden Vision Institute, the University of New South Wales Australia and Singapore Eye Research Institute have published a study titled “Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050” in the journal Ophthalmology, stating that up to 5 billion people or half of the world’s population may become short-sighted or myopic by 2050.

The bad news however is that one-fifth or 1 billion out of the estimated 5 billion to become short-sighted will gradually become blind – this is because short-sightedness may become a cause for permanent blindness globally and vision loss rises 7-fold between 2000 to 2050.

According to the authors of the report, "environmental factors (nurture), principally lifestyle changes resulting from a combination of decreased time outdoors and increased near work activities, among other factors" will cause the large-scale myopia to hit the inhabitants of Earth.

The researchers advise that governments should put comprehensive eye-care services in place to manage rising myopia among people, with effective treatment options developed to control the progression of short-sightedness and prevent people from becoming affected in the first place.

"We also need to ensure our children receive a regular eye examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, preferably each year, so that preventative strategies can be employed if they are at risk," said co-author Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute. "These strategies may include increased time outdoors and reduced time spent on near based activities including electronic devices that require constant focusing up close.”

Prof. Naidoo also solicited for special spectacle lenses and contact lenses as well as effective drugs that can be used to prevent or treat myopic, while the governments need to fund more research into eye-related issues and the factors that engender eye problems.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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