Study: Half the global population to be myopic by 2050
In about 35 years, half the world's population is projected to share a common health problem.
A recently published study estimates that, by 2050, around 4.8 billion people will likely be short-sighted (myopic).
SEE ALSO: All paws on board: Australia's surfing rescue dogs
This figure represents a surge in the number of cases over the next few decades, as the current number of people with the condition is about 1.4 billion, or nearly 23 percent of the population.
The trend of high myopia, a severe form that can cause blindness, is also expected to jump from the current estimated levels of 163 million people to 938 million people—nearly 10 percent of the global population—by 2050.
The implications of this forecast are serious; as one of the paper's authors, Kovin Naidoo, told the Huffington Post Australia, "This is a true global health crisis, and is rare in that whether you live in Africa or Australia, it will have a huge consequence."
The team points to lifestyle behaviors as one of the main drivers; for example, people are spending less time outside and more time with closely positioned objects like computers and phones.
More on AOL.com:
Hillary Clinton comforts a young child in emotional new ad
Brooklyn Nets hire Sean Marks as their new GM
Kanye West offered job by Philadelphia police to get out of debt