Myopia Can Still Progress in Your 20s—What Can You Do About It?

Myopia Can Still Progress in Your 20s—What Can You Do About It?

If you’ve had nearsightedness or myopia since childhood, your optometrist probably told you that the condition would stop progressing once you hit 18. That’s because this is around the age your eyeballs stop growing. However, you may have experienced your myopia worsening even after you entered your 20s. 

If this happens, it can be disappointing. After all, a medical professional officially gave their word that you wouldn’t get even more nearsighted at your age. But the truth is you’re not alone. Today, myopia progression affects over a third of adults in their 20s. This increase marks a departure from multiple past studies, which established that myopia stabilizes in one’s mid to late teens. 

Wondering why this happens? Here’s why myopia can still progress in your 20s—and what you can do about it. 

Why Myopia Can Still Progress In Your 20s

There are a few key risk factors that can explain why your nearsightedness is still getting worse. Here are three of them.


Current research suggests that women are more likely to develop myopia. That’s especially true during pregnancy when hormonal changes impact their eyesight. They’re also 80% more vulnerable to myopia progression because their eyes can elongate more quickly as the body undergoes changes. 


Your ancestral and ethnic background can also dictate how much your myopia progresses as you grow older.

One parent with myopia increases the likelihood of progression by 25%, and two parents with myopia raise that to 50%. And if you’re East or Southeast Asian, your eyeballs may elongate up to 70% faster than those with European ancestry. 

Too Much Screen Time

COVID-19 introduced a significant lifestyle shift by requiring more screen-based indoor work.

A 2022 study on myopia incidence during that time found that this increased eye strain-causing blue light exposure in adults, accelerating myopia progression. Using screens for more than eight hours a day may be a significant risk factor. 

What You Can Do About It

Given these risk factors, continuing myopia control in your 20s is crucial. Here are some steps you can take to get started. 

Get Regular Eye Tests 

Doing this is crucial for myopia control: it’ll help your optometrist track the condition’s progression so they can update your prescription as needed.

And if you’re unsure of whether your myopia is progressing in the first place, the 3D scans involved in an advanced eye test can check for eye elongation to confirm the condition and treat it as early as possible.

Though you should typically get such tests at least every two years, your optometrist may personally recommend you come back every six months so they can observe how fast your myopia progresses.

Explore Advanced Treatment Options

Though myopics are usually asked to wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to slow the condition, you may want to look into more advanced treatment options with your optometrist if your myopia continues to progress in your 20s.

For example, you can switch to multifocal lenses that seamlessly correct for near-to-far vision across the lens. Your optometrist may also recommend atropine drops, which relax the eye for better vision. Finally, you can consider wearing advanced ortho-k contacts, which are proven to slow myopia progression and even lower your prescription over time. You wear these overnight to reshape your corneas and benefit from clear vision without aids during the day. 

Reduce Your Screen Time 

Since screen time significantly contributes to myopia progression, it’s best to cut down on your device hours. You can start by tracking your habits—if you’re chronically online, stop overloading on social media by picking up another hobby or using an app to limit your screen time. If you need to use digital devices for work, you can wear blue light glasses to reduce eye strain and minimize your exposure to blue light, which can accelerate myopia progression. 

Recent studies reveal that contrary to popular belief, myopia can still progress when you’re in your 20s. Hopefully, this piece helps explain why this happens so you can treat it and maintain healthy vision throughout adulthood!