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A Billion People Could Go Blind By 2050; Make Sure You Won't

Time to get your eyes checked, stat!

One billion people around the world are at risk of going blind by 2050that's 35 years from now. According to researchers at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia, it's because of myopia, aka nearsightedness. They also found that five billion people may become nearsighted by then, which also puts them at risk of blindness.

Myopia has been known to just be hereditary, and it begins in childhood. But apparently it can also develop in our adult years all thanks to staring at our computer screens or mobile phones for too long. Want sadder news? "Myopia is not curable or reversible," explained Dr. Kovin Naidoo of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. 

But we can reduce the risk of getting myopia or, if we already have it, reduce the risk of going blind. Apart from making people more aware about this threat and urging companies and healthcare providers to be more concerned with our vision, we can reduce our risk by spending more time outdoors (like two hours a day), spending less time in front of a bright screen (we spend an average of nine hours in front of one!), and getting our eyes checked for prescribed glasses or contact lenses (the most common treatment for myopia and proven to slow myopic progression).

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The Institute believes that by reducing the progression of myopia by 50 percent, around 90 percent of nearsighted people today won't be at risk of becoming blind.

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