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The prevalence of myopia in children – new study reveals startling statistics

Updated: May 19, 2022

As a study is released about the increased prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness) in children, we’re taking to social media to make people aware of the condition.

Researchers at the Ulster University who conducted the NICER (Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction) Study have revealed that myopia prevalence in children in the UK has more than doubled in the last 50 years.

The study found that nearly one in five teenagers in the UK are now short-sighted, and that children with one parent with myopia are at least three times more likely to be myopic than those without a myopic parent. This increases to over seven times more likely when both parents are myopes. It has also shown that myopia is most likely to occur between the ages of six and 13 years.

Alex Gage said: “The most startling statistics in the study are the increased prevalence and the link between myopic parents and their children’s eyesight. We would advise parents with myopia to ensure that their children have regular eye exams from an early age as research does suggest that early intervention can help to slow down further increases in myopia.

“We are using our facebook and twitter networks to try and spread the message about myopia and the importance of regular eye tests for children with our ‘Six Little Known Facts about Childhood Myopia’ posts. Eye tests are free and children do not need to be able to read to take the test, so please book an appointment with your local optometrist.”


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