Video FAQ’s: What is the cause of myopia?

YouTube video

What is the cause of myopia?

What is the cause of myopia? We know there are some genetic factors at play in the cause of myopia. We see it running in families, but we also know that the environment plays an enormous impact. Most of the evidence for that comes from epidemiological studies and really interesting studies on different population groups. We know from studies of Aboriginal peoples that if people are living closer to a hunter-gatherer type lifestyle that population will have almost no short-sightedness; it almost doesn’t exist in that population.

But as soon as you make all the children go to school, about forty percent of the children become short-sighted. There is something about creating an environment in which children are focusing up close for extended periods of time that will make not all but a proportion of those children develop myopia.

It appears that there are some cells in the retina that respond to image blur to change the shape of the eye, to actually make the eye enlarge slightly, such that objects which are up close are in focus and images that are far away are refracted too much, and the images will blur. That’s short-sightedness. It seems to be a combination of factors, but it is fascinating.

Particularly, I find it amazing that the environment can have such a great impact. A few years back I saw a lovely lady who was talking about the fact that all of her siblings were very short-sighted and she was about minus 7. She somehow started talking about her childhood and about how they were all complete bookworms. She was actually little upset when I said ‘well that’s probably why you’re all so short-sighted because you spent so much time focused.’ I was able to reassure her that I’m sure there are many other benefits to having intellectual development for spending so much time with the head in the books.


Life is in the details

Discover your eye treatment options by giving us a call on: 0345 6430 466

Our reviews on Trustpilot

By James Ball | October 12, 2017 | Posted in
Related Posts

Request a Call Back

The best way to figure out your treatment options is to request a call back by filling in the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get a free copy of the 40+ Guide to Ageing Eyes

Eyesight Guide - Private Eye Surgery in Leeds & York