With kids now back at school it’s time to revisit Myopia. The evidence is continuing to grow regarding the link between increased sunlight and Myopia. We often hear about Myopia as a rising trend in Asia however a recent article published in the New York Times highlighting myopia research states “the prevalence of myopia … in Americans has soared by 66% since the early 1970s”. If you think of the American population a 66% increase equates to a lot of people!
As we have seen in previous studies on myopia, the article explores the apparent connection between two ongoing trends among the younger generation – the increase in time spent on screens and the corresponding lack of time outdoors.
As the article notes, “while some experts connect the elevated rates of myopia to the many hours young people stare at computers and other screens … a recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology suggests that a greater factor may be a side effect of all that screen-watching — it’s keeping children inside. This new study joins a growing body of research indicating that a lack of direct sunlight may reshape the human eye and impair vision.”
One of the study’s authors claims, “there must be something in sunlight that affects how the eye grows, especially in childhood. There is definitely something in modern-day childhood that is triggering a massive rise in the number of people with myopia …and a lack of time outdoors certainly appears to be contributing.”
There’s a very actionable key take-away here for all parents of young children – we have the power to control the behavioral factors which contribute to our kids becoming myopic. We can monitor and limit the amount of screen-time they spend each day. We can also ensure they have ample time, even in the typically hectic week, for outdoor play.
Here is a link to the New York Times article if you would like to read more.
At Envision Optical, our optometrists are all believers in preventative eye care, especially when it comes to myopia. We believe it is time to change the traditional way of just prescribing stronger glasses for myopia every year as your child’s eyes get worse, as compelling scientific evidence shows this is an outdated approach. A comprehensive vision exam and discussion about all of the options to prevent the problem getting worse is our core philosophy of care.
Please book in for an exam at any of our four Gold Coast locations at Nerang, Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters and Tweed Heads South for a comprehensive eye exam.
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