Because myopia (nearsightedness) is becoming more prevalent among younger generations, increasing numbers of nearsighted youngsters are predisposed to cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. For this reason, nearsightedness is seen as an indirect cause of visual impairment and blindness, which has led researchers to look for risk factors. While past research has suggested that major risk factors for myopia include genetic background, time spent outdoors, and time spent doing “near work” (such as reading and writing), there are also indications that first-borns are more likely to be myopic. The latest research shows that parents’ inclination to expose first-borns to educational environments makes them about 10% more likely than later-born individuals to be myopic and 20% more likely to have high myopia.
P.S. Research seems to suggest that parents can reduce their children’s risk of becoming nearsighted by encouraging them to play outdoors more and limit their use of computers and computer games.