Many vision researchers believe there is growing evidence that digital screen use is a contributing factor to the spread of myopia worldwide. For example, Essilor USA’s website, Myopiaexperts (, points out that myopia tends to progress during childhood, as the eyes continue to grow and develop.

“Research suggests too much screen time on digital devices like smartphones and tablets may potentially put kids at risk of developing myopia, and increased time spent outdoors may help slow its progression. With this in mind, parents should urge kids to put down their devices and spend more time outside,” Essilor said.

In their article “Myopia: a 21st Century Health Issue,” published in the ophthalmic journal mivision and featured in Vision Monday’s editorial supplement, “Protecting Eyes from Sun & Screens: Visual Wellness Through Modern Lens Technology,” researchers Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg and Dr. Monica Jong of the Brien Holden Vision Institute wrote, “The global prevalence of myopia and high myopia is rapidly increasing, largely due to modern urban lifestyles.”

Noting the rapid growth of the world’s urban population, and the fact that cities are now home to nearly half of the world’s children, the authors observe that “for many children, life in an urban community is dominated by high-density living and small living areas. As a consequence, time spent outdoors is restricted and in some instances, penetration of natural light to indoor spaces is limited… Recent technological advances, with respect to smartphone and screen-based devices, has resulted in many children spending a significant amount of time focused on near range activities.”

Sankaridurg and Jong argue that the large amounts of time children spend using screen-based devices is linked to early onset myopia.