Massive rise in Asian eye damage
By Matt McGrath Science reporter, BBC World Service 4th May 2012. Find Full Article and Short Video Here:-
Up to 90% ofschool leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia – short-sightedness – a study suggests.
Researchers say the “extraordinary rise” in the problem is being caused by studentsworking very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.
The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.
In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%.
According to Professor Ian Morgan, who led this study and is from the AustralianNational University, 20-30% was once the average among people in South East Asia as well.
“What we’ve done is written a review of all the evidence which suggests that something extraordinary has happened in east Asia in the last two generations,” he told BBC News.
“They’ve gone from something like 20% myopia in the population to well over 80%, heading for 90% in young adults, and as they get adult it will just spread through the population. It certainly poses a majorhealth problem.”
Eye experts say that you are myopic if your vision is blurred beyond 2m (6.6ft). It is often caused by an elongation of the eyeball that happens when people are young.
According to the research, the problem is being caused by a combination of factors – a commitment to education and lack of outdoor light.