[Guest post by DRJ]
ABC reports on a new study that says nearsightedness is up 66% since the 1970s:
“A new study conducted by the National Eye Institute shows that the rate of nearsightedness, or myopia, in Americans has increased from 25 percent in the 1970s to a staggering 41 percent this year.
The study didn’t examine the causes of such an increase, but experts told “Good Morning America” the reasons could include genetics or poor outdoor lighting. Another possible reason could be an increase in “near work”-like reading, surfing the Web or texting.”
The Good Morning America report focused on the increase in ‘near work’ as a possible cause and concluded “the numbers don’t look good” for our vision. However, the report also clearly stated that we should not confuse cause with association.
In today’s world, Americans need for and use of ‘near work’ is greater than ever. So while my baseline is probably association rather than causation, I’m not ruling out that our bodies and eyes are mutating more quickly to make it easier for us to do the ‘near work’ that is such a big part of our lives.