What can cause child myopia?

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

Source: Myopia in Children

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.


6 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
7 Read SA, Collins MJ, Vincent SJ. Light exposure and eye growth in childhood. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2015: 56(11):6779-6787
8 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
9 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