Getting myopia or progressing myopia in your 20s can be a problem and can lead to scares. For some people, Myopia progression stops after reaching 20, but for some it is not the case. Depending on your genes and proper eye care habits, you can take the matters in your own hands.
Progression of myopia happens from childhood and can reach in the mid to late 20s. This also depends on the genes with more than 40 genes associated with myopia. Genetics play a huge role in this with an estimate of you having a 1/3 chance of having myopia if your family member has it.
Genetics and aging play a huge role in your myopia but it doesn’t mean that good habits to take care of your eyes won’t help. We need to explain how and what are the most common reasons why your vision gets worse even at your 20s. Of course, the things you have to do in order to slow down the progression or even better, reverse the process.
Can vision get worse in 20s
You vision can get worse even in your 20s. While aging can cause this, there are many other reasons. The most common reason for your eyes getting worse in your 20s is that it is in your genes. Some people will stop the progression of myopia before 20 and some might continue until their mid or late 20s.
There are other reasons why your vision might get worse in your 20s some of which are
1. Why you Need More Sunlight to Slow down Myopia Progression
Sunlight or the UV rays from the sun can actually help your eyes. According to a study from the Ohio State University for Clinical and Translational Science titled: “Scientists study effects of sunlight to reduce number of nearsighted kids.”, Exposure to the UVB rays from the sun actually helped their participants in reducing the progression of their myopia.
The Outdoor Effect which is common in the field of vision has been around for long. Research and observation both supports this idea that spending time outdoors actually helps your eye health. If you want to get a better vision, spend time outdoors. This also prevents you from doing too much close up work and relaxes your ciliary eye mucles.
2. Getting a proper night of sleep can actually save your eyes
A good night of sleep is actually essential to your eye health. Sleeping late at 9:30pm significantly increase the rate of myopia according to a research study titled: “Sleeping late is a risk factor for myopia development amongst school-aged children in China.”
Having a good night of sleep actually relaxes your eyes. While the 20/20/20 Rule helps you relax your eyes, sleeping is the ultimate form of rest for your eyes. Having a proper sleep is actually a very big deal when it comes to your eye health.
Study: Liu, X.N., Naduvilath, T.J., Wang, J. et al. Sleeping late is a risk factor for myopia development amongst school-aged children in China. Sci Rep 10, 17194 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74348-7
3. The 20/20/20 Rule is helpful to relax your eyes
The 20/20/20 Rule is a rule recommended by numerous health professionals. It involves you to do rest, looking 20 feet away for 20 second when doing near work every 20 minutes. This basic rule actually works by relaxing your eyes because doing close up work actually contracts your eye muscles.
Your eye muscles or more specifically, the ciliary muscles actually contracts when you do close up work. Doing close up work for a very long time actually causes it to spasm like how your normal muscles spasm after lifting big at a gym. This causes you to increase your myopia, making your vision worse.
Thus, the 20/20/20 rule is an easy to do, free and neat technique to relax your eyes.
4. Using Glasses on doing near work causes Myopia
Minus lenses or myopia glasses can cause ciliary spasm leading to Pseudomyopia which will eventually lead to myopia. This event is called lens induced myopia where glasses are the prime culprit.
To point, negative lenses are designed so you can see things far away clearly. It works by making objects far away seem near you, this it becomes clear even you are near sighted. The stronger the prescription, the nearer an object will seem for your eyes.
However, doing this on near work is a different story. Since the object is already near you, your glasses will actually cause it to go extremely near which can actually strain the eyes.
The difference between your eyes and glasses is that the lens of your eyes can adjust depending on the distance. However, negative lenses’ power is constant which means that it doesn’t adjust if the object is near or far, causing eye strain.
5. Doing too much near work can strain your eyes leading to worsening vision
Doing near work causes your ciliary muscles to contract. Causing a blurry vision. It is okay to do close up work but doing too much is a different story. Doing it for too long causes ciliary spasm which is the cause of pseudomyopia.
6. You need to check with a qualified health professional especially to check if there are underlying causes
While the causes listed above are the most common causes of your vision getting worse, it is not always true. There can be underlying cause that needs attention. Getting a professional help is always a good idea.
If you are wondering when to see a professional, here are some of the instances where you might need one:
- If you are feeling pain such as headaches or dizziness
- Your eyesight is becoming worse at an alarming rate
- You have an underlying condition such as Diabetes
A proper health consultation is always the best idea if you can. Because proper diagnosis is always the best to get the right treatment for you.
Can you develop the need for glasses in your 20s?
You can develop the need for glasses in your 20s as some people will progress their myopia until their late 20s. It is usually because of genetics and not taking care of your eye health.
If you already got an eye prescription and wondering, you can check my article on do you need glasses on -0.75 prescription where I discussed the stages of myopia, when to wear and not wear lenses and many more.
Can Eyesight Improve?
Eyesight can be improved by many methods. Some of which require surgery where you can get fast result and works 90+% of the time while there are some are natural ways which these methods are free but will take time and results are not proven.
Here is a table comparing surgical methods and the natural ones
|Natural Methods||Invasive/Surgery Methods|
|Price||Cheap or Sometimes Free||Expensive|
|Speed||Will take months or years to return back to 20/20||**Can return back to 20/20 after surgery|
|Side Effects||*Eye Strain/None||May Develop Complications|
For more details, you may check out my article about Treatments and Cure for Myopia.
Methods to Improve Eyesight
|Atropine Drops||Slows Progression|
|CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) lenses||Contact Lens Treatment|
|Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)||Contact Lens Treatment|
|Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)||Laser Surgery|
|Active Focusing Method||Natural/ Hormesis|
|Eye Yoga||Eye Relaxation|
|Bates Method||Eye Exercises|
|Print Pushing Method||Natural/ Hormesis|
|Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK)||Laser Surgery|
|Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)||Laser Surgery|
Here are some of the treatments currently available, for more details, you may check out my article about Treatments and Cure for Myopia.
Eyesight is Getting worse Quickly: What to Do?
If you eyesight gets bad really quickly, it is best to consult a physician or an expert. There are lots of reasons why your eyesight gets worse but if it is getting bad at an alarming rate, there might be a deep reason behind all of this. It might be caused by a complication of an underlying disease that your eyes need to be checked quickly.
Check number 6 above to see the common reasons when you need to ask professional help.