In the late 1980s and early 1990s, parents in Singapore began noticing a worrying change in their children: they were becoming more shortsighted. Singapore has been named “the myopia capital of the world”, with its high case of shortsightedness among young adults at almost 80%.

What happened in Singapore seems to be occurring everywhere right now. Although nations have seemingly different lifestyles, all are connected by a same phenomenon: rapidly rising shortsightedness rates. In the United States, adults with shortsightedness now make up about 40% of the population, up from 25% in 1971. Teen and young adult prevalence rates range from 84% to 97% in Taiwan, mainland China, and South Korea. If current trends continue, by 2050, half of the world’s population will be considered legally blind. Myopia is not a common disease, according to experts. For example, it is a major factor in blindness and vision impairment. Why is there a global eyesight crisis right now? Despite being a generally positive factor in children’s lives, education has unintentionally worsened the development of myopia. Children’s eye health appears to be constantly harmed by traditional educational techniques, which heavily emphasize long hours spent in classrooms.

In the end, a child’s vision is a reflection of their general health. It’s important to consider your entire body and your mental health, not just your eyes.