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Rise In Myopia In Kids Linked To Increased Screen Time, Experts Say

Photo from Kelly Sikkema’s Instagram

Rise In Myopia In Kids Linked To Increased Screen Time, Experts Say

By Movieguide® Contributor

Myopia in young people is skyrocketing, according to a new study that points the finger at smart phones.

The National Eye Institute found that “about 41.6 percent of Americans [in 2017] are nearsighted, up from 25 percent in 1971,” and most of the cases are children. 

“We’re talking about [children who are] age four or five years old becoming myopic,” said Dr. Maria Liu, an associate professor of clinical optometry at The University of California, Berkeley.

In countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea, “the rate of myopia among young adults is over 80 percent,” according to EuroNews.

Experts agree that the leading cause is too much screen time. 

“The visual apparatus of children from zero to two years old is simply not sufficiently developed and robust to undergo such stress from constant stimulation in front of the screen,” Dr Langis Michaud, a professor at Université de Montréal’s School of Optometry,” explained.

So, what can be done about the rise in myopia in young people?  

Dr. Liu encouraged parents to cut back on their children’s screen time and have them spend more time outside. 

“They need to play with real toys,” she explained. “They need to engage in real outdoor life.”

Liu also pointed out that adults should take the same advice, put their phones down, and spend time outdoors. 

Movieguide® previously reported on the issue:

A new piece in The Atlantic revealed that there’s a strong correlation between the increase in myopia in children and the amount of time they spend staring at devices such as tablets, smartphones and television.

Scientists do agree that while the cause cannot be definitively proven, less screen time benefits everyone. But instead of limiting screens, many families are opting for expensive treatments such as drops and eyeglasses for youth, when the answer may be much simpler. According to The Atlantic:

We may not know exactly how ogling screens all day and spending so much time indoors are affecting us, or which is doing more damage, but we do know that myopia is a clear consequence of living at odds with our biology. The optometrists I spoke with all said they try to push better vision habits, such as limiting screen time and playing outside.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.