Myopia or nearsightedness is generally caused by the eyeball growing too quickly. This causes light to enter the eye and focus in front of the retina which causes distance vision to be blurry.
*Age – One of the single greatest predictors is the age at which the onset of myopia occurs. The younger the patient is at onset, the greater the likelihood of faster progression and overall amount of myopia.
*Ethnicity – Studies show that patients of Asian ethnicity have a greater risk of becoming myopic.
*Genetics – Studies refer to this as “parental myopia”. Children with 1 myopic parent have a 2-3x greater chance of becoming myopic and a 6x greater chance if both parents are myopic.
*Environmental Factors – It is thought that increased near work (reading, computers, or handheld devices) may be a risk factor for developing myopia. There are also theories regarding time spent outdoors. Studies show that increasing outdoor time may help prevent the ONSET of myopia, however once a child becomes myopic, outdoor time does not seem to prevent the PROGRESSION of myopia.