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Incidence of Nearsighted Vision on the Rise

New study shows the percentage of Americans with myopia increased 66% since the 1970s.

Archives of Ophthalmology

December 16, 2009  -- The incidence of myopia (nearsighted) vision in Americans has increased from 25% in 1971-1972 to 41.6% in patients surveyed from 1999 through 2004. The 66% increase was reported in a study published in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Myopia can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, or vision correction surgery like Lasik, but the cost to Americans is billions of dollars every year.

The cause of the increase of myopia is not included in the US National Eye Institute study, however a dramatic increase in near vision work including cell phones, texting, and computers during the same period may be a source of the prevalence of nearsighted vision.

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