Self | Health

Why Everyone Needs Glasses These Days (It Isn’t Just Screens)

How to correct for a health problem that sits at the foot of urbanization.

Sean Kernan
5 min readSep 10, 2023


Pexels Images via Jaspereology

It started in 9th grade. I was in geometry class and those linear equation graphs were on the projector.

The screen was blurry so I raised my hand and asked, “Can you adjust the projector? I can’t read it.” Several students turned around and stared at me. That’s when I knew.

It was only the beginning of an increasingly common eye problem. One hospital in Guangzhou had the largest eye center in China, and still had to build an additional unit for the avalanche of young people with near-sightedness — also known as myopia. And it isn’t just screens causing the problem.

The origins of our new problem

For decades, scientists were convinced that vision problems were purely genetic. Either you had it or you didn’t.

That’s still the case to some extent. If one parent is nearsighted, your odds of developing myopia increase by 2x. If two parents are nearsighted, your odds increase by 4x. Yet it’s believed our ancestors had far fewer eye problems.



Sean Kernan

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