The Nearsightedness Epidemic

  • Added:  1 year ago
  • While not the kind of epidemic you're used to hearing about, nearsightedness is becoming a major health issue in many places. Learn about how scientists are finding out the reasons behind the increase in myopia, and how sunlight might be an important component.

    Hosted by: Michael Aranda
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    Sources: (pp 18-20)
  • Video CategoriesEducation
  • Runtime: 8:59
  • Tags for this video:  SciShow  science  Hank  Green  Michael Aranda  Myopia  Blindness  Epidemic  Sunlight  Sports  Preventive Medicine  Eyeball  Optics  Education  What causes nearsightedness?  nearsightedness  The Nearsightedness Epidemic  Near-Work  High Myopia  East Asia  First-born  

Comments: 2 437

  • James August
    James August 22 hours ago

    God I love good science. I was worried I would have to point out that correlation doesn't prove cause, in regards to the myopia - education correlation. Thank you SciShow for not saying "THIS IS THE PROBLEM" But rather saying "We don't know yet."

  • Derek Gunn
    Derek Gunn 1 day ago

    Not Study.
    Not Sunlight.

  • Kevin Picton
    Kevin Picton 1 day ago

    its not just light, its also air.... I spent a lot of times in doors and when I go out the air feels cold on my eyes and my eyes start watering because of the air. the air influences your eyes. the air indoors is usually more body temperature, more neutral or warm and lacking of as muchmoisture. also indoors everything is up close and you don't need to focus far.... outside you have longer scope of vision and theres no wall stopping your range and focus range.

  • Nikolina Ma鱉ar
    Nikolina Ma鱉ar 2 days ago

    It obviously doesn't work for everyone. I come from a family where everyone has literally perfect eye vision, so it's not genetic, and I assume I was the unlucky black sheep because my eyesight is horrible. I'm 24 now so during my childhood years we didn't really have all of this technology, the internet and computers weren't this popular yet so we played a lot outside, and I mean really A LOT, most of my childhood was spent outside. So no, the sun didn't help me... unfortunately.

  • Eian Guevarra
    Eian Guevarra 4 days ago

    Couldn't a cause be the grandparents' were inside more and their children picked up on that habit, and then their children had even more

  • Wakish
    Wakish 5 days ago

    I believe it's based off of gene expression, which is dependent on factors from being outside like absorbing the sun's rays and having to focus your vision on objects further away. Vitamin D isn't the only beneficial component to sunlight but I'm not 100% sure which other variable is causing it

  • Kendra LikesElephants

    my mom won't get me glasses but the doctor said i should get some

  • typicallyUntypical
    typicallyUntypical 5 days ago

    Does that mean all vampires are actually nearsighted? Or going to develop myopia?

  • Bruno Cerri
    Bruno Cerri 5 days ago

    My dad is long sighted
    I think

  • Khekbre C
    Khekbre C 8 days ago

    So if u have a kid u have to let him or her go out ? As much as possible

  • Kaylee Teagan
    Kaylee Teagan 8 days ago

    could bright indoor lighting and bright monitors help then as well?

  • Eda Jane Ahmaogak
    Eda Jane Ahmaogak 8 days ago

    I am Inuit :D but my family are also nearsighted.

  • Katherine Pierce
    Katherine Pierce 8 days ago

    Why didn't you put this video up 2 years ago??? hh

  • Katherine Pierce
    Katherine Pierce 8 days ago


  • Michael Hayman
    Michael Hayman 9 days ago

    or i could use extra bright led bulbs?

  • FennecFoxee
    FennecFoxee 9 days ago

    I was actually pretty active as a kid, but I still ended up nearsighted. >.< Wish this had worked for me. XD

  • Cynthia Clampitt
    Cynthia Clampitt 11 days ago

    I read a study that suggested that it wasn't just being outside -- it was the fact that, outside, we are generally changing focal distance regularly. The study was based on the low incidence of nearsightedness among hunter-gatherer groups, because they constantly were looking in different directions and at different distances. So the issue is that, inside, we rarely change the direction or distance on which we are focused. It's why eye exercises sometimes help. Did you run into anything along these lines when preparing this story? Because eyes can get "flabby" just like bodies that don't move, the report proposed, and keeping them moving and refocusing makes a difference. I'd be interested in knowing if that was part of the idea of being outside having value for vision.

  • RimorDeIgnotis
    RimorDeIgnotis 12 days ago

    I generally spend around 15 minutes outside every week... That's probably not very good eh?

  • Well, I'm Garbage
    Well, I'm Garbage 14 days ago

    so can you fix far-sightedness by being a shutin?
    /music plays

  • Kkas10
    Kkas10 15 days ago

    So.... exposure to light affects the development and effectiveness of the organ used to detect... light. Makes sense.

  • James Bond
    James Bond 15 days ago

    epidemics are located in a single area like the United States, but pandemic is when it is worldwide. I would say this is a pandemic to be technical.

  • R Hayat
    R Hayat 16 days ago

    His voice is EXACTLY the same as that lanky other guy. How can they have the SAME voice? What's going on here?

  • DerpyDitto7
    DerpyDitto7 16 days ago

    Im far-sighted

  • Siddu Chinnakatti
    Siddu Chinnakatti 17 days ago

    I got near eye sightedness due to lot of near work like reading books , watching TV ..Always in home..not much activity outside the house.. i am 100 % sure that it's because of these reasons..

  • saikyoRYU
    saikyoRYU 19 days ago

    So still no cure for my astigmatism.

  • Him Girish
    Him Girish 19 days ago

    Can i watch a wallpaper of sun instead of going out ?

  • Michie TN
    Michie TN 21 day ago

    This episode calls for a sequel. Maybe start by interpreting into layman's language, then this one: introducing the idea that the neurotransmitter implicated, Dopamine, is also related to mood. Then segue to Seasonal Affective Disorder Gives new meaning to looking good, on the sunny side of life.

  • Michelle Speed
    Michelle Speed 22 days ago

    Interestingly, if you have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobile Type, a genetic condition that affects collagen and results in unstable joints, you are highly likely to have myopia. I have both.

  • x3P1CxSH00T3R
    x3P1CxSH00T3R 23 days ago

    I'm the first born in my Family and I'm Farsighted, but I expect my Sister to be near sighted. Both my parents are Nearsighted.

  • Clara Bow
    Clara Bow 25 days ago

    great video. I've always been a proponent for getting kids outside and letting them have more time outside at school (as a teacher I was extremely frustrated at how little the kids got to be out for "recess"). both of my younger siblings (I'm the first) have glasses, I have 20/20 vision. I'm also more educated than either of them. I've always said looking at games boys and things too close are a problem (I rarely read too close and always look far away when I can) and they still may be, but the light/sunshine goes along with not playing on phones and game boys or whatever right next to your face & being inside so makes sense. the boy next door is rarely outside and he had glasses now, coincidence? maybe... he always plays games on whatever inside too so... :)

  • Katherine Richardson

    well school is how you find out you're nearsighted. my mom and grandma are and at 26 my eyes have finally stopped getting worse but they're pretty bad

  • Marc Lowenthal
    Marc Lowenthal 27 days ago

    Well, time to get outside some more......

  • Ben Moyer
    Ben Moyer 27 days ago

    fuck me. I go outside all the time and always have but have some of the worst vision ever and need a new prescription every time I go to the eye doctor

  • Kari Grard
    Kari Grard 27 days ago

    Solution do schoolwork outside! I always stuided alot and always went outside. my eyes are fine lol.

  • Katrina Yarbro
    Katrina Yarbro 27 days ago

    Jokes on you. I am farsightedness!

    *laughs far away*

  • Daniella Sullivan
    Daniella Sullivan 27 days ago

    They put goggles on chicks? Pics or it didn't happen! ;)

  • grn dragon
    grn dragon 27 days ago

    Would like to see how this affects adults. 8 to 15 hours a day has to have a negative affect on ones eyes over time.

  • Excuse me
    Excuse me 27 days ago

    well my parents are nearsighted soo.. :/

  • Richard Jones
    Richard Jones 28 days ago

    Sunlight is good for you.....who knew?

  • Dolores Jagodic
    Dolores Jagodic 29 days ago

    me and my twin are firstborns and have the best grades we have perfect eyesight..but everyone else in our family has/needs glasses(3 more siblings,mom and dad)

  • Kyle Richard
    Kyle Richard 1 month ago

    So how does this interact with sunglasses?

  • John Dole
    John Dole 1 month ago

    It's gotta be the damn technology. Staring at these screens and the fact that this has caused kids not to go outside anymore and get that sunlight. These two factors are the causes. It's the only thing that has changed that could have possibly caused such a dramatic rise in nearsightedness. Why won't they just come out and say it? And then they try to blame it on education? Wtf? Lmao, gimme a break.

  • chicnoobs
    chicnoobs 1 month ago

    my parents have 20/20 vision, i have myopia because i played computers alot as a kid, it is to do with your enviroment

  • sputnut
    sputnut 1 month ago

    Maybe, and this is just a hypothesis, it has to do with actually USING your distance vision, which happens much more often outside.

  • Spoony
    Spoony 1 month ago

    Well mine is definitely genetic, I spent hours a day outside as a kid and I can't see a 60 inch tv 8 feet away.

  • Jon Groubert
    Jon Groubert 1 month ago

    It's not sunlight that's curing myopia. It's seeing things at a distance.

    Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, studious types, aka, people who read a lot, would develop myopia. To fix it, they would take the cure. What was that? Going out to sea.

    When you're out at sea, you're focusing on things very far away. It is the exercise of your eye muscles that cures the myopia.

    You can cure yourself the same way - or more to the point, if you have myopia, you can stop its progress. How? 10 minutes out of every hour, stop close work. Look up, look away, look across the room, look outside. This exercises your eye muscles and stops your myopia from progressing any further.

  • Epic Pi
    Epic Pi 1 month ago

    Time to apply sunblock on my eyes and scare at the sun!

  • Aaron Fang Shenhao
    Aaron Fang Shenhao 1 month ago

    So will putting the brightness up on screens help? I've always put the brightness down when working because I thought it was bad.

  • TheEightshot
    TheEightshot 1 month ago

    So, a new insult for stupid people. "God, (s)he is so long sighted." :)

  • coolstay85
    coolstay85 1 month ago

    I don't think sunlight directly impact the children's eye development. however staying outdoor encourage people to see far. you go outside you pretty much see things far all the time like sky, buildings, mountains or ocean, which plays an important role on children's eye development. you don't use it, you lose it just like other part of body like bones, muscles and brain.

  • Eeriel Constantine
    Eeriel Constantine 1 month ago

    So...sunlight. So we can look farther but cook our eyeballs faster. You can't win. *rolls nearsighted eyes*

  • Monica Miraflor
    Monica Miraflor 1 month ago

    Now what about astigmatism?

  • Spald瓣m's FJ Adventures

    What if it's just that people who go outside learn to look father distances.

    I like to go outside, and I was able to see far away when I was younger.

  • Elina Buchan
    Elina Buchan 1 month ago

    my optometrist said studying a lot can make my myopia worse. kinda sucks. good grades, but at the cost of my vision ;;;;;

  • Jari Haukilahti
    Jari Haukilahti 1 month ago

    less E-vitamin and not shaking your eyeballs to a round shape + doing math makes you nearsighted

  • fluffy anna
    fluffy anna 1 month ago

    I have astigmatism and I lost my glasses at my old school so I'm fucked. My double vision has gotten so bad, bUT I CANT GET NEW GLASSES YET CUZ MY MOoM TOLD ME I HAVE TO FIND MY OLD ONES OR ELSE, SORRY FOR VENTING ITS LIKE 2 amN. I LITERALLY GOT MY GLASSES IN AUGUST OF 2016 AND LOST THEM IN LESS THAB A FUCKING YEARRRDrtr

  • C Sanyk
    C Sanyk 1 month ago

    Theory: I would assume that people who spend more time outdoors spend more time looking at distant objects, which provides "exercise" to the eye to focus on distant objects. The more you do this, the better your eye gets.

  • Mystic Dust
    Mystic Dust 1 month ago

    I have two glasses. One has a weaker prescription and I wear this most of the time. The other has a stronger prescription, and I use it to look at something from further away. It's annoying to switch back and forth, but at least I am actively doing accommodation by switching glasses.

  • Grimmm 258
    Grimmm 258 1 month ago

    but can my shit vision be reversed by going outside?

  • Moon Moon
    Moon Moon 1 month ago

    I have an astigmatism. Are there any environmental causes for this or is it just the shape of my eyes?

  • Phil Hub
    Phil Hub 1 month ago

    if the kids who spend more time outside have better long distance vision than their indoor counterparts, could it be practicing long distance looking?

  • RadicalOne 1912
    RadicalOne 1912 1 month ago

    This does make a lot of sense. When I was younger I was outside all the time, but when I started spending more time inside, that's when my vision started getting worse. Along with that, my friend, who is two years older than me can still see fine, but he also works for his grandpa's construction company (so he's outside a lot).

  • Storm Silvawalker
    Storm Silvawalker 1 month ago

    maybe we will get less homework so we can go outside more?

    ha nope just brighter lights in schools

  • DuncanDestruction
    DuncanDestruction 1 month ago

    What if it's something to do with the diet, such as a lack of enough Vitamin D, or high blood sugar? That would be an environmental factor that could explain how genetics only play a small role.

  • Alex Reilly
    Alex Reilly 1 month ago

    Both of my parents had glasses by age 14. All three of their children (including me) had glasses before the age of 10. Me, I had glasses when I turned 7.
    I guess I could have put of getting glasses for a little while... but genetics are a powerful thing.

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie

    So sunlight is good for you, but what about the people Who are allergic to the sun?
    Risks are always there..

  • Nortio
    Nortio 1 month ago

    cool story bro, but what if im already nearsighted? can i go stare at the sun to fix my eyes

  • liquid klone
    liquid klone 1 month ago

    I've always just thought that nearsightedness is gaining prevalence because people who are nearsighted are not dying because of it anymore.

  • James Rae
    James Rae 1 month ago

    There's also the interference of natural selection through the widespread use of glasses. I imagine that at some point, almost all humans will need extensive eye surgeries as infants in order to correct their no longer functional eyes, ironically making the problem even worse by not favoring those with better vision.

  • sn3192
    sn3192 1 month ago

    wow, can't believe the stereotype about smartness and glasses actually had something to it....

  • ramp agent 92
    ramp agent 92 1 month ago

    I'm surprised fluorescent lighting wasn't mentioned here. what with the flickering of the bulbs and the almost all consuming use of them in public buildings.

  • NintendopePokemonFreak Ruben

    I see . . haha get it

    ..sorry I drink bleach now

  • Maxim Gun
    Maxim Gun 1 month ago

    I guess praising the sun does have health benefits

  • Maxim Gun
    Maxim Gun 1 month ago


  • Princess 喋怒
    Princess 喋怒 1 month ago

    Where does 'near sighted' come from? I've never heard this before.

    You're either short-sighted (short range of vision) or long-sighted.

  • Remix Boost
    Remix Boost 1 month ago

    *Laughs in farsightedness*

  • Teacup4561
    Teacup4561 1 month ago

    this video was so cool
    I really enjoyed going through each step of the research process and I liked the way it was fully explained why and how the scientists got to each step.

    Thanks! This was fun to watch!!

  • Ravindra Nagrecha
    Ravindra Nagrecha 1 month ago

    my sister and i rarely goes outside and she does not have glasses but i do have?

  • Ugly Fatass Creature

    i have astigmatism. bright light hurts as f*ck.

  • weblife nomaz
    weblife nomaz 1 month ago

    and my parents said being in front of my pc all day was unhealthy...

  • weblife nomaz
    weblife nomaz 1 month ago

    and my parents said being in front of my pc all day was unhealthy...

  • Arecaceae791
    Arecaceae791 1 month ago

    if I look close enough I can see the pixels on my monitor
    but I can't read a sign from more than about ten meters away

  • Nicole Braun
    Nicole Braun 1 month ago

    This doesn't make any sense. I spent hours and hours outside when I was a kid and I still developed near sightedness, now to the point where I'm over -8 in both eyes and they've never stabilized. Correlation doesn't equal causation.

  • Milan Sunil
    Milan Sunil 1 month ago

    WTF he said that the Sydney children had more than 13 hours a week outside while the Singapore children had only 3 but he still said that can sunlight PREVENT near sightedness!

  • Eric P
    Eric P 1 month ago

    He is SO HOT

  • David Allen
    David Allen 1 month ago

    My dad's farsighted. But my older sister and I both noticed drastic changes in our eyesight by the time we got into Middle School. We've been nearsighted for the past 15 years now and it strangely changes. My eyes either get a little better or weaker after so long to the point I'm having to get new prescriptions every 2-3 years so far for over a decade. At least I've always been able to see clearly up close :)

  • Holly Michelle
    Holly Michelle 1 month ago

    as a child, i never wore glasses or contacts unless i went to the movies or needed to see the chalkboard in school, and my eyes were only slightly blurry when looking far away. i played sports year-round and spent a lot of time outside as a result. i did this for over a decade, and my eyes never worsened. i was training them to view different objects at different distances. i didnt even need them to drive.

    as soon as i got my first contacts at age 23, my eyesight declined noticeably because i was using my contacts to view things up close like my computer and phone as well as distant objects. i stopped wearing them altogether and my eyesight is back to where it was during childhood, just slightly blurry.

    so i say, don't force your kids to get glasses or contacts too soon. they will rely on them (if worn all day) and will only need stronger and stronger prescriptions as they age. theres a lot of anecdotal evidence and research to suggest that you can fix (or at least improve) your nearsightedness gradually by training your eyes. it's definitely worked for me and my childhood nearsightedness was officially caused by genetics not just being inside.

  • Salma Hernandez
    Salma Hernandez 1 month ago

    ugh dont go blind and go outside or go outose and increase possibility of death....well as long as we have fun

  • Alex Wyman
    Alex Wyman 1 month ago

    Do the studies account for how bad the myopia is? I'm near sighted but if I lived 100 years ago or if I didn't have eye insurance I would not wear glasses.

  • Dah Zodiac
    Dah Zodiac 1 month ago

    you cant put glasses on cancer. ill take my glasses on my eyes.

  • Sir Kane
    Sir Kane 1 month ago

    Fuckin nerds need glasses to show the world that they are infact nerds and are ready to be beaten for being nerds

  • Samantha Jacobs
    Samantha Jacobs 1 month ago

    That might explain my issues exactly. I spent a good portion of my childhood outside and I didn't have eye problems. 6th grade hit and I started to stay indoors more and more often. I started developing eye issues in 7th grade but I didn't mention it cause it wasn't that bad. I pretty much spent my teenage years inside. I ended up needing to get glasses by 11th grade cause everything past 3 feet was blurry. And for the last several years of my young adulthood I've been inside almost completely. Now everything past almost a foot is blurry.

    Man I really need to go outside. Now I have yet another reason to do so.

  • WolfydaWolf129
    WolfydaWolf129 1 month ago

    ^reads title^ wait it's an epidemic?


    seriously without my glasses i can't even see something that's literally only 5 inches from my face

    it's frustrating because i misplace my glasses a lot

  • TravistheHuman
    TravistheHuman 1 month ago

    Do outdoor classrooms.

  • Krizefugl
    Krizefugl 1 month ago

    still sounds like bullshit. ive been outside as a child and im still outside almost every day now and even enjoy rainy weather. yet i have almost -7 diopter on both eyes.

  • Robert Hilden
    Robert Hilden 1 month ago

    Could it be that we aren't looking at closer distances than before, like walls instead of looking at far away natural features while being outside?

  • Samus Kerrigan
    Samus Kerrigan 1 month ago

    so, stare into the sun to cure myopia, but you will get sunburn in the eyeballs and blindness lol, l should stop binge watching these videos

  • PapaWheelie
    PapaWheelie 1 month ago

    It's because ugly nearsighted people reproduce with other ugly nearsighted people more!!

  • Cameron Frye
    Cameron Frye 1 month ago

    I have -7.5/-7 eyesight at 17 with myopia, and I've been trying very hard to get better eyes. I do not at all expect sunlight to be my all-perfect cure, but could it at least help? On my own soon enough, I really am sick of contacts after only a decade.

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