A new study of school-aged children (5 to 16), that covered the period of 1989 to 2009, showed that Asian American children developed myopia (near-sightedness) more often than children of any other race. 27.3 percent of Asians, 21.4 percent of Hispanics, 14.5 percent of Native Americans, 13.9 percent of African Americans and 11 percent of whites needed glasses by the end of the study.
I previously wrote about another study showing that Chinese people being more likely to be myopic in 2010, but was criticized by a commenter for the article, claiming that there was no “proof,” and that the numbers seemed to be pulled out “thin air.” But this latest study shows that there does seem to be a predilection of Asians towards myopia. While this study did not examine any environmental factors that may contribute, they did pick states where there was likely to be large ethnic populations of children.
The topic of nearsightedness is one that’s near and dear to me, because of my own experiences around discovering I needed glasses. And now that I have a school aged daughter of my own, I worry constantly we’ll miss the signs she needs them as well. When we took her in for her yearly physical last month, the nurse had her do the usual eye exam. I was a little concerned since she didn’t get a 20/20 in either eye, but was instead listed as having 20/30 in each of her eyes. But both the nurse and the doctor told me not to be alarmed as it’s normal for children to have fluctuations in their vision. And certainly 20/30 isn’t anywhere close to the 20/700 I had when I was first discovered to need glasses.
So once again, if you have school aged children, this is a good reminder to get your kids’ eyes checked out, even if they are doing well in school.
[Photo courtesy of here.]