Ninety Percent of South East Asian Schoolchildren Are Nearsighted

Researchers have concluded that up to 90 percent of students leaving school in major South East Asian cities are suffering from myopia — the fancy term for when things look fuzzy at a distance. According to Professor Ian Morgan, who conducted the study, the average used to be between 20 and 30 percent.

That's an incredible rise, and it reflects a serious epidemic among South East Asian youth, Morgan explains.

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 major health problem.

Morgan believes that the staggering increase in nearsightedness is the result of too much studying and homework, and not enough exposure to daylight. (Kids, keep this in mind when your parents advise you to stay inside and finish your work.)

Morgan also warns that "high" myopia, which affects between 10 and 20 percent of South East Asian students, can lead to continued deterioration and eventual blindness. He suggests that not enough is being done to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Sometimes people are not told about it and are just given more powerful glasses — they need to be warned about the risk and given some self-testing measures so they can get to an ophthalmologist and get some help.

Look, there's no denying little kids look adorable in glasses. But maybe it's best to address this problem before everyone is nearsighted? Remember, you can still wear frameless glasses as a fashion statement.

[Image via Shutterstock]