There are two main risk factors for a child developing myopia: lifestyle and family history.

Lifestyle:

Modern lifestyles may influence the development of myopia.  These include:

  • Low levels of outdoor activity6 and associated factors including:
  • Low levels of light exposure7
  • Prolonged near tasks8 such as reading and gaming on portable devices

Family history:

The likelihood of developing myopia, particularly high myopia increases when one or both parents are myopic.9 However the exact link between a family history of myopia and the development of childhood myopia remains uncertain.10

The likelihood of developing myopia, particularly high myopia, increases when one or both parents are myopic. However, the exact link between a family history of myopia and the development of childhood myopia remains uncertain.


He M, Xiang F, Zeng Y et al. Effect of time spent outdoors at school on the development of myopia among children in China: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2015; 314:1142-1148
Read SA, Collins MJ, Vincent SJ. Light exposure and eye growth in childhood. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2015: 56(11):6779-6787
Ip JM, Saw SM, Rose KA, Morgan IG, Kifley A, Wang JJ, Mitchell P. Role of near work in myopia: Findings in a sample of Australian school children. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2008:49(7): 2903-2910
Lim LT, Gong Y, Ah-Kee EY, Xiao G, Zhang X. Impact of parental history of myopia on the development of myopia in mainland China school-aged children. Ophthalmology and Eye Disease. 2014;6:31-5
10 Ip J, Huynh S, Robaei D, Rose K, Morgan I, Smith W, Kifley A, Mitchell P. Ethnic differences in the impact of parental myopia: Findings from a population-based study of 12-year old Australian children. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 2007:48:2520-2528

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