If there was a survey about what our most underappreciated body part was, the answer would probably be 'our eyes'. We abuse them; let's not beat around the bush. Unless we're asleep they're used constantly. We peer at tiny phones, don't eat enough good eye-food, and don't see the optician every year.
It's thought one in three Britons are short-sighted; that means we can't see much at a distance, and according to research it's becoming more common. New studies suggest that 5 billion of us worldwide will be short-sighted by 2050. What's causing this avalanche of short-sightedness and will it go even further into blindness?
Researchers think that by 2050 there will be an epidemic of myopia (short-sightedness) with a billon people worldwide at risk of blindness. The problem is particularly bad in East Asia, where 80-90% of school leavers in areas of Singapore, Taiwan, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea are short-sighted.
The Brien Holden Vision Institute wants us to act now to save our eyesight. Professor Kovin Naidoo would like to see three things happen. Public awareness of the threat, researchers to develop solutions, and eye care professionals becoming equipped to manage at-risk patients.
You can't go from short-sighted to 20/20 vision without expensive laser surgery, but there are a few things you can try to help slow down vision loss.
Here's a thought for today. What would you pay to get your sight back if you lost it? I bet it's more than an eye test, and I bet you'd even give up Twittering too - actually you might have to do that anyway if you can't keep away from the screen.
Protect your eyes - you're not made with a spare set.