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When can Myopia start to develop?

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

The chances of being born with Myopia are very small. So much so that in one 2019 study [1] of newborn babies, just 0.45% were identified as having Myopia at birth with 95.2% diagnosed with hyperopia. This is a condition in which visual images are focused at a virtual point behind the retina, leading to close up images appearing blurry.

In the early stages of a baby’s development that hyperopia tends to reduce rapidly. That’s because the axial length (the distance from the front to the back of the eye) grows at pace over the first year. The average axial length for a new-born is in the region of 16.8mm compared to 23.6mm in adults. [2] By the end of the first year that axial length increases to 20.6mm, rising to 21.4mm by the age of three. [3] Slower rates of axial length growth are generally then seen until an individual reaches adulthood.

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