Screens Will Make Half the World Short Sighted by 2050

By Gary Cutlack on at

A study into the long-term effects of having a phone showing a viral video for a mobile phone company 18 inches from your face at all times makes for terrifying reading -- unless you're in the business of selling glasses. In which case, it's great news! Glasses for everyone!

The data, published in the Ophthalmology journal, suggests that the current rate of global short-sightedness of 34 per cent will explode to very nearly 50 per cent by 2050, meaning that, including some population growth, 4.8 billion people will soon be endlessly worrying about sitting on, losing and dropping a pair of glasses that it turns out don't even suit their face.

The report's dry language states that:"Principally lifestyle changes resulting from a combination of decreased time outdoors and increased near-work activities," will be responsible, along with a general "excessive use of near electronic devices" -- by which they mean how we all have a viral video for a mobile phone company 18 inches from our faces for about 16 hours a day now.

The stats have been generated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and also make mention of how a lack of outdoor light may have a hand in chipping away at the planet's eyesight, plus our ever-changing and worsening diets could also impact on the development of the eyes.

In short, stay outside and look at far away things. Only use your eyes to look at something near in an emergency. [Ophthalmology via Telegraph]

Image credit: YouTube

Want more updates from Gizmodo UK? Make sure to check out our @GizmodoUK Twitter feed, and our Facebook page.