More than 450 million Chinese are myopic

BEIJING, June 9 — More than 450 million Chinese suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), according to statistics made public earlier this week.
“The myopia rates are around 30 percent for primary school students, 60 percent for junior middle-school students, 80 percent for senior high middle-school students, and 90 percent for college students,” said Long Qin, professor of the ophthalmology department of Peking Union Medical College Hospital, at a press conference held by the National Health Commission.
“The Chinese are suffering myopia at an earlier age with higher diopters, and the population of myopia sufferers keeps growing,” said Wang Ningli, director of the ophthalmology department of Beijing Tongren Hospital, at the conference.
According to Jiao Yahui, an official with the commission, myopia has become an increasingly severe problem among children and a major public health issue.
“Relevant departments released guidelines for myopia prevention in 2016, proposing requirements for lighting, desks and blackboards in classrooms, for students using computers and their daily study time,” Jiao said. “Since 2016, relevant departments have been strengthening monitoring of the eyesight of students of different ages in some cities, and the scale of the monitoring will be expanded this year.”
The commission Tuesday released a new guideline for preventing and curing myopia, offering guidance for medical institutions and personnel to enhance their service and help students and parents raise awareness of using their eyes correctly.
Noting that many people had undergone laser surgery for curing myopia, Long said the effect of the surgery was good, but advised patients not to take the surgery until they were 18 years old and only if their diopters remained stable for over two years.