Scientists say an epidemic of myopia, or nearsightedness, is sweeping through Asian children, and is likely due to students’ spending too much time indoors studying and not enough time outside in the sunlight.
It has long been thought that nearsightedness is mostly a hereditary problem, but researchers led by Ian Morgan of Australian National University say the data suggest that environment has a lot more to do with it.
Reporting in the journal Lancet, the authors note that up to 90% of young adults in major East Asian countries, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, are nearsighted. The overall rate of myopia in the U.K., by contrast, is about 20% to 30%.
In Singapore, for example, rates of nearsightedness in three different ethnic groups — Chinese, Indian and Malay…
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