The goal is for their eyes to grow just right so that the light coming in focuses perfectly at the back of the eyes, on a part called the retina. This gives them clear vision. But with myopia, things don’t quite work that way. The light ends up focusing in front of the retina, making far-away things seem blurry. In Northern Ireland, almost one in five teenagers now have myopia!
Guess what? Sometimes, if you have myopia, your kids might have it too. It’s like a family thing. If one parent has myopia, their kids are at least three times more likely to get it. And if both parents have it, their kids are more than seven times more likely to have it! Also, some groups of people, like those from Asia, East Asia, and African American backgrounds, tend to have myopia more often.
The place you grow up in can also make a difference! Studies have shown that kids in the countryside, for example in China, are less likely to get myopia compared to those in the cities. Lifestyle matters too. A study in Ireland found that things like being overweight, not moving around much, and using screens too much can play a part. But scientists say they need to study this more to be really sure.