“Is My iPhone Making Me Nearsighted?” Some Thoughts On The Coming ‘Myopia Epidemic’

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a vision issue that causes objects far away to appear blurry while objects nearby remain clearly in focus, which is why it is also called nearsightedness. Myopia is the result of the eye growing too long and not allowing light to focus clearly on the back of the eye (retina). Typically, myopia starts during youth and worsens as you age at varying degrees and speeds.

What Are Symptoms Of Myopia?

Myopia Epidemic Eye Rubbing

Symptoms of myopia include:

  1. Squinting
  2. Blurry Vision At A Distance
  3. Constant Blinking
  4. Tired Eyes
  5. Dry Eyes
  6. Eye Rubbing
  7. Headaches
  8. Children’s School Grades May Drop
  9. Children May Fall Behind In School

In truth, a comprehensive eye exam with an eye care professional is the only proven way to diagnose myopia. 

Left untreated, severe myopia can lead to more serious eye conditions such as glaucoma or even retinal detachment.

If you believe you may have myopia, we encourage you to call us at (336) 422-713, contact us online, or schedule an eye exam online today.

What Are Causes Of Myopia?

  1. Myopia can be hereditary (passed down from one or both parents) or
  2. Develop as a result of  environmental factors such as reading and using hand-held electronic devices or looking at computer monitors for hours on end.

Historically, eye growth slowed and eventually stopped during the late teen years. However, that’s no longer the case. Eye growth seems to be continuing through adulthood. 

Increasingly, we are surrounded by electronic devices and screens that get and keep our attention throughout our waking hours. Some experts believe that in addition to screen time, people are spending less time outdoors where sight-lines are much longer allowing the strain on the eyes to reduce naturally. Our eyes are simply not designed for constant focusing at close distances, and this is becoming a significant issue for the eyesight of people of all ages, including children. 

What Is The Myopia Epidemic?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is starting to affect more and more of the world’s population. It is the most common vision problem, and the numbers are getting worse at an increasing rate. Over the past decade, the cases of myopia have increased dramatically. As a result, it is estimated that 42% of the population has myopia and researchers predict that 50% of the population will be myopic by 2050. This is the “myopia epidemic.” You can read more about it here: https://nei.nih.gov/content/myopia-close-look-efforts-turn-back-growing-problem 

Myopia Epidemic

The myopia epidemic in China are staggering. In the 1950s, only 10-20% of China’s population was nearsighted. Today, it is estimated that 90% of the teenage population is myopic.

What Can I Do About Myopia?

  1. Nearsightedness is treatable for most with eyeglasses and contacts prescribed by your eye doctor. If you are experiencing symptoms of myopia, schedule an eye exam with us today!
  2. Take an active role in protecting you eyesight: All adults and children alike should observe the 20/20/20 rule: For every 20 minutes you look at a digital screen, you should take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away. By looking at objects 20 feet or more away for small periods of time, you are allowing the muscles in your eyes to relax, which reduces eye strain and lowers the risk of myopia.
  3. For children specifically, decreasing screen time and playing outside are the best ways to help your child lower their chance of developing myopia. In fact, outdoor time for people of all ages is a great way to minimize the chances of myopia.
  4. Lastly (but not least!), you should also schedule regular eye exams for you and your family so that your vision and eye health are checked and monitored over time by an optometrist. Contact our Eye Point Optometry’s High Point office or call (336) 422-7136 to schedule an appointment today.

1. You Now Have Choices: Alternatives To Reading Glasses Have Arrived!

Are you squinting more often and worried that reading glasses are unavoidable? Do you find yourself holding menus and books farther away? You may be experiencing a natural aging condition of the eye that makes it difficult to focus on nearby objects (presbyopia). Many people think that reading glasses are a normal part of getting older. Maybe you’ve worn reading glasses for years and just can’t stand them anymore. We have good news for you! Eye Point Optometry has several contact lens alternatives to reading glasses.

2. Multifocal Contact Lenses Are An Option

Multifocal contacts are similar to progressive eyeglasses. In other words, they provide a gradual change in lens power for a natural transition from distance to up-close vision. In this type of lens design, different parts of the lens are designated for focusing far away and focusing nearby (and sometimes intermediate). Then, depending on the viewed object, your visual system automatically determines the region(s) of the lens that provide the sharpest vision.

3. Multifocal Contacts For Astigmatism Are Now Available

In the past, astigmatism may have prevented you from getting multifocal contacts. Previously, soft multifocal contact lenses could not correct for astigmatism, but that has changed. Recently, Bausch and Lomb released a monthly disposable soft, multifocal toric contact lens called “Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism.” Our very own Dr. Sellers was one of 500 optometrists nationwide invited to attend a contact lens fitting symposium for these lenses. Therefore, Eye Point Optometry is one of the first eye doctors in High Point to have access to these lenses. Of course, we are excited to provide this new technology to the High Point community!

4. Multifocal Contacts Are Available In Daily Disposable Lenses For Convenience

For ultimate convenience, consider wearing daily disposable contact lenses. These lenses are used once and then discarded at the end of the day, requiring no cleaning. As a result, daily disposable lenses have the lowest incidence of eye infections when worn as directed. Eye Point Optometry has several daily disposable multifocal contact lens options available.

5. If Multifocal Contacts Do Not Work For You, Monovision Lenses Are Another Option

Until you have a contact lens fitting, there’s no way to know if you’ll be able to adapt to multifocal contact lenses. If multifocal lenses aren’t comfortable or don’t give you adequate vision, a monovision contact lens is another alternative.  

Monovision lenses use your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant eye for near vision. Eye Point Optometry performs all of the necessary testing to determine eye dominance and fit these lenses properly.  

Typically, monovision contacts rely on single-vision lenses, unlike their multifocal counterparts. As a result, monovision lenses are a less expensive option.  


If you want to try alternatives to reading glasses, Eye Point Optometry will work closely with you to determine which contact lenses provide you the best vision and comfort while also being sensitive to your budget. Additionally, the list of available alternatives to reading glasses are expanding due to contact lens innovations so you may have more success now than in the past. Find out what options are available for you by calling us at (336) 422-7136 or request an appointment!