Japanese schoolchildren's eyesight worst on record, health ministry finds
Japan Times -- Dec 21
From elementary to high school, children in Japan are breaking records for bad eyesight, an education ministry health survey showed Friday.

According to the survey results, children with uncorrected vision of less than 1.0 on the Japanese acuity scale account for 34.57 percent of elementary school students, 57.47 percent of junior high school students and 67.64 percent of high school students — all record highs.

A score of 1.0 is equivalent to 20/20 vision in the United States and elsewhere.

“Looking at smartphone screens at close distances and reading books may be having some effects” on children’s eyesight, the ministry said.

The preliminary figures came from samples collected from the results of medical checkups nationwide for children between 5 and 17 from April to June. A more detailed investigation covering several thousand students will be conducted for the first time in fiscal 2020.

The fiscal 2019 survey also found record high ratios of nasal or paranasal sinus conditions, such as allergic rhinitis, in 12.10 percent of junior high students and 9.92 percent of high school students.

The share of high schoolers with ear problems aside from hearing impairments also hit a record high at 2.87 percent.

News source: Japan Times
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