Myopia in East Asia

Myopia in East Asia


Myopia is refractive error. Focus is in front of the retina and not on the retina. Recently, myopia in East Asia is rapid rise. What is myopia? How can we cure it?

Myopia in East Asia

Myopia is known as “short sightedness.” It affects around 1.45 billion or 27% of the world’s population in 2010. Also, significant cause of vision impairment and blindness. However, its rapid rise in East Asia concerns to say the least.

Myopia increased from about 10-30% to 80-90% in young generation in East and Southeast Asia developed countries. Researcher from Australian National University, Ian Morgan, debunked the myth that genetic causes only trigger myopia.

Understanding myopia

Myopia results from the elongation of the eyeball. It leads to misalignment of light on the retina. Therefore, far end image is blurry.

Myopia cause genetic but several environmental factors have been identified too. For example, insufficient time spent outdoors, low vitamin D, inadequate light exposure, and poor diet. Increase of indoor time can the risk up of developing myopia.


A general cure for myopia is none. However, some promising treatment is be. For example, executive bifocal spectacles, peripheral plus contact lenses, extended depth of focus contact lenses, and orthokeratology.

Ian Morgan postulates bright outdoor light would stimulate the release of the retinal transmitter dopamine. It is known to block the axial growth of the eye. Atropine slows down eye growth but it is not preferred because side effects.

Prevent eye growth

The goal is minimizing eye growth. It is prefer early age stage. More outdoor activities get exposed to more sunlight. For example, tennis is good. (How Tennis Cures Myopia?).

Singapore launched national myopia prevention strategy and increased outdoor time in 2009. Later in 2010, Taiwan adopted two outdoor hours per day in schools. Results from the Taiwan program is positive. These two examples are case studies to understand how to control major health crisis.