As a parent, you want the best for your child. That is why you make sure they finish their homework before they head outside to play with their friends. But could this focus on education be bad for your child’s health? According to a recent study published in The Lancet, hours of indoor study could negatively affect a child’s vision.
Myopia (Nearsightedness), Vision Health and the Great Outdoors
“Increasing children’s outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health,” said Anthony Khawaja, MBBS, an ophthalmologist at the University of Cambridge, U.K.
Children who spend the majority of their time indoors have an increased need for glasses. In fact, according to another study, this one presented at the 115th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Orlando, Florida, spending more time outdoors could decrease the likelihood of nearsightedness (myopia) in children.
Myopia currently affects 33% of Americans. However, researchers claim that each additional hour spent outdoors during a week helps decrease the risk of developing nearsightedness.
“This translates to about a 13% reduced chance of developing nearsightedness per extra hour per day of physical activity outdoors,” said Khawaja.
According to the study, children with myopia typically stayed indoors around four hours more per week than children with normal vision.
“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.
If you have any questions about Myopia (Nearsightedness), Vision Health and the Great Outdoors, or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or visiting AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube as well!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.