It isn't just politicians, business leaders and financiers who are short sighted. It seems that there is a veritable epidemic of myopia affecting a significant proportion of the world's population and especially the young. There may be a link to our not staring off to infinity so much anymore or not spending enough time in the type of intense light provided out of doors.
The condition is more than an inconvenience. Glasses, contact lenses and surgery can help to correct it, but they do not address the underlying defect: a slightly elongated eyeball, which means that the lens focuses light from far objects slightly in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. In severe cases, the deformation stretches and thins the inner parts of the eye, which increases the risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and even blindness. Because the eye grows throughout childhood, myopia generally develops in school-age children and adolescents. About one-fifth of university-aged people in East Asia now have this extreme form of myopia, and half of them are expected to develop irreversible vision loss.
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