Nearly 400 Million Chinese are Near-Sighted

July 16, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: July 16, 2006 12:00 am

According to, China has a high percentage of near-sighted students, which makes it the country with the second-highest rate in the world. Today, nearly 400 million Chinese are near-sighted, with a yearly increase of 30 million. According to China News Agency, a 2002 sample of China's primary and elementary schools indicated that 26.96 percent of elementary school students, 53.43 percent of secondary school students, and 72 percent of high school students were near-sighted.

Research by the Teenage Hygiene Research Institute of Beijing Medical University showed that the number of near-sighted students in China has risen, which changed China's ranking from fourth place in 1998 to second place. Japan has the highest percentage of near-sighted students.

Specialists say that near-sightedness can be treated effectively using an optometric laser. But only a small percentage of medical facilities in China have such equipment. Less than 1,000 such hospitals, approximately five percent of all hospitals in China, have an optometric laser diagnosis and treatment center.