After reviewing 23 studies on myopia in children and teens, new research suggests that time spent outdoors may reduce the risk of myopia in children. Observational findings include:
- There appears to be a significant connection between time spent outdoors and the prevalence of myopia in the nearly 10,000 children observed.
- Risk of myopia dropped by 2% for each additional hour spent outdoors each week.
- Increased time outdoors appeared to slow the progression of myopia.
These findings still need to be confirmed by further studies, but the results are promising.
“Even though a substantial proportion of myopia cases can be explained by inheritance, this does not exclude strong environmental influences being the driving force behind the rapid increases in the prevalence of myopia over time,” said researcher Justin Sherwin, of the University of Cambridge.
What is Myopia?
Myopia, more commonly referred to as nearsightedness, is a common refractive error that occurs when light entering the eye is focused incorrectly because the physical length of the eye is greater than the optical length. Because of this error, objects in the distance appear blurred and out of focus.
Signs and symptoms of nearsightedness include:
- Objects in the distance are blurred / blurry.
- A person with nearsightedness can easily read the Jaeger eye chart (the chart for near reading), but has trouble reading the Snellen eye chart (the chart for distance).
If you feel you may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – at your earliest convenience. Myopia is very treatable using eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.
To learn more about Myopia (Nearsightedness), please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrist Dr. Nathan Frank, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision. Vision problems may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.