A growing number of children are starting to wear glasses at a very young age. Some start wearing them as early as they start primary school. A lot of those children are diagnosed with shortsightedness. A condition where a person is not able to clearly see objects further away. They appear blur. Doctors refer to that condition as myopia. A recent study seems to indicate a link between the time a child spends outside and the chances that child may or may not develops myopia.
Nobody really knows the cause of myopia. Generally it is known to occur in families that already have it from generation to generation. It is passed on from parent to offspring. That said it is believed that there might be some environmental factors that play a role in allowing the condition to manifest in the child.
Scientist performed numerous studies on children including young teens up to twenty years old. They collected data concerning the amount of time these children spend outside and their ability to see further away objects. After analysis of the data collected the researchers realized that there seems to be a link with the amount of time a child spends outside and the improvement of his eyesight.
Research on eye care for children – what are the findings?
The research suggests that any time a group of children spends 1 additional hour per week of time outside, there is a 2 percent reduction in those diagnosed with myopia.
The researchers also went further to see if there was a possibility to slow down myopia by encouraging the child to spend more time outside. Three other studies where conducted and they all seemed to suggest that the more time a child spends outside the more chances of his myopia to be slowed down.
Scientists do not yet know the mechanism that explains this phenomenon. One possible explanation is that children spending time indoor are most of the time using their sight for close enough objects. They spend a lot of time watching TV or reading. Those types of activities only require “near vision”. That coupled with genetic inheritance, the child quickly develops myopia.
A lot of study still needs to be done to fully understand the whole mechanism that may cause myopia in children. Research is ongoing. At least the good news is, today there are many easy ways to correct shortsightedness. The most popular is probably the wearing of eyeglasses but there are others too.
For those who don’t want to wear eyeglasses, the option for contact lenses is available. These are lenses that can be put directly on the eye. That way one can avoid the unpleasant situation of having eyeglasses frames on their nose throughout the day.
A third option to correct myopia is surgery. It might be expensive but it does work. It is a good alternative for those who may not want to wear any eyeglasses or contact lenses.
As research continues, science might be able to find a way to easily prevent myopia. We are all patiently waiting for that day.