Why are so many children myopia in China?

Abstract: the biggest factor of myopia is the lack of outdoor activity time. Sunlight exposure helps the retina release a chemical that slows the increase in axial length, which is the most common cause of myopia. What kind of glasses does

want? Shiny? Spotted or Hello Kitty? Which is your favorite frame in various colors, styles, shapes and sizes? No matter which style, you can easily find it on the four floors of a glasses shop in Beijing.

a pair of glasses can be made in half an hour. The speed is amazing! However, more and more people wear glasses in China, and most of the new population are children.

1970, among teenagers aged 16 to 18, Less than one-third of them are nearsighted (they can’t see things far away). But now about four fifths of them are nearsighted, and the proportion in cities is even higher. One fifth of these nearsighted teenagers are highly nearsighted, that is, they can’t see things as far as 16cm.

The population with the fastest increase in myopia is primary school students. Now more than 40% of primary school students are myopic, twice that in 2000. In contrast, the myopia rate of children of this age group in the United States and Germany is less than 10%. The incidence rate of myopia in East Asia is high, and


. 80-90% is short-sighted in 18 years old city in Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. The problem is social, not genetic. A study of 15000 children in Beijing in 2012 found that low vision was significantly correlated with more time to study, read, use electronic devices and less time for outdoor activities.


experts say that it is easier to find this habit in high-income families. These parents prefer to let their children concentrate on their studies. There will be a decline in vision with the increase of income and education level in the whole East Asia. The biggest factor of


myopia is the lack of outdoor activity time. Sunlight exposure helps the retina release a chemical that slows the increase in axial length, which is the most common cause of myopia. The lack of outdoor activities in


, coupled with a large number of close-up operations such as writing and reading, will worsen the problem. Professor Ian Morgan of the Australian National University believes that if children have enough time for outdoor activities, they can learn what they like and their eyesight should not be affected.

however, China and other East Asian countries do not pay attention to outdoor activities. The myopia rates of 6-year-old children in China and Australia are similar. As soon as they enter school, Chinese children spend about one hour a day outdoors, while Australian children spend three to four hours a day outdoors.

Chinese students usually take a nap after lunch instead of playing outside, and then go home to do more homework than anywhere outside East Asia. The older Chinese children are, the longer they stay indoors, but it is not because of air pollution.

because myopia is related to higher income and more education, myopia is not very common in rural areas of China. According to the national health and Family Planning Commission, one third of rural primary school students are nearsighted, while nearly half of urban primary school students are nearsighted. The rural education action project of Stanford University found that nearly one sixth of rural myopia children do not wear glasses, given the cost, poor eye care and the belief that wearing glasses will aggravate myopia. Scott rozel, project director of


, said that after Stanford distributed free glasses to thousands of students, it was found that improving children’s vision had a greater impact on educational achievement than improving nutrition or teaching quality. Another study reported that providing students with free glasses was as effective as a year of extra education in improving test scores.


outdoor activities and free glasses are cheap remedies for the increasingly serious national problem of myopia.

the only thing we need now is to take a long-term view: let children participate more in outdoor activities and see more clearly.