21 November 2023: Using Raine Study data collected from 600 young adults, a new study from The University of Western Australia has found the world is experiencing a myopia (short-sightedness) epidemic and the main cause is computer screens rather than mobile phones or tablets.
Senior research fellow Samantha Sze-Yee Lee, from the Lions Eye Institute found short-sightedness got worse faster in those who reported six or more hours per day of computer usage compared to those with low computer use while time spent on mobile phones did not have any effect.
Dr Lee suggests this difference may be due to a phenomenon called ‘peripheral defocus’.
“When you look at your mobile phone, everywhere in our peripheral vision, with the exception of the small phone screen, is further away and relatively blurred,” Dr Lee said.
Myopia is associated with increased risk of future eye problems, such as glaucoma and retinal degeneration, so understanding how our modern world affects our risk is important.