Myopia in Generation XYZ

VISION MATTERS

MYOPIA is the blurring of vision at far and can be corrected and controlled with eyeglasses or contact lenses. There is a growing prevalence of myopia (- 5.00 and below) and high myopia (-5.00 and above) around the world particularly the younger generations in Southeast Asia and ethnic groups. This is considered as a global public health issue since there are sightthreatening complications such as glaucoma, cataract, myopic maculopathy and retinal detachment. According to the International Myopia Institute, uncorrected myopia is the leading cause of distance vision impairment globally. And recently, there is an estimate that by the year 2050, half of the world population will have MYOPIA. In 2015, the WHO held a Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Sydney, Australia to address the public health issue of myopia.

Generation X (1965-1979) population mostly are not myopic because they are exposed to outdoor activities like the traditional games “tumbang preso, patintero, luksong tinik / baka, chinese garter”. In Generation Y (1980-1994), due to advancements in technology, evolving school educational policies, we noticed that there are more indoor activities and lesser outdoors. While Generation Z (1995- 2015) is the newest generation and we witnessed how they overuse their eyes in digital screens because it is already part of the educational system. Change is inevitable. But along with this socalled “change” are the threats to our vision. And this is a terrifying fact that should not be taken for granted.

When do we stop and relax our eyes from the near activities? What else do we need to know about Myopia, how do we control and why we have to control Myopia? These questions will be discussed in the next articles.