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Nearly 10 Million Americans Are Severely Nearsighted

Posted 21 Jun 2016 by

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 – About 9.6 million Americans are severely nearsighted, a new study finds. Rates of nearsightedness – also known as myopia – in the United States rose from 25 percent in the early 1970s to 40 percent around 2000, the study authors said. Most cases of nearsightedness can be corrected with eyewear or surgery. However, severe nearsightedness can cause complications that threaten vision. The new study is based on federal data, plus an analysis of an American Academy of Ophthalmology database. The researchers estimate that nearly 820,000 Americans have a degenerative form of myopia called progressive high myopia, which can cause weakening of the retina. More than 40,000 of these individuals may also develop an even more serious condition called myopic choroidal neovascularization. This is "a severe complication of myopia with abnormal fragile blood vessels growing ... Read more

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