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iPod use may cause near-sightedness

An increasing number of Americans are being diagnosed with myopia according to a study by the National Eye Institute. The dramatic increase could be due to the increased use of technological gadgets such as cell phones,? iPods and computers. When the human eye spends so much time on "close up" activity, it has to compensate to see more clearly in the distance. This can lead to the eyeball becoming too long and developing too much curvature. This results in myopia. Approximately 25 percent of Americans were diagnosed with myopia between the years of 1971 and 1972 compared to 41.6 percent between the years of 1999 and 2004. The increase in cases of myopia has far-reaching implications. People with serious myopia could develop far more serious eye conditions such as retinal detachments or retinal degeneration. Ophthalmologists encourage those who engage in extended computer related activities to take frequent breaks and look out a window. This helps to relax their eyes. In addition, it is especially important that children engage in outside activities. This allows the children to see objects at all range of distances. Some studies have shown higher rates of myopia in children who spend less time outdoors.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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