Nearsighted – Get Outside!

Nearsightedness is when objects that are far away appear blurred while those nearer appear clearer, this is technically called myopia. Myopia affects millions of people of all ages and nationalities. Asians have an extraordinarily high incidence of myopia. Some Asian countries have reported 70 to 90 percent of the adult population as being myopic. Approximately 70 million American adults about 1 in 4 are nearsighted.

As we increase the near demand by the use tablets, smartphones, and gaming systems, there is an increasing amount of cases of myopia. We recommend that you encourage children to spend more time outdoors. This simple and inexpensive method is good for their vision and overall health improve, according to numerous studies. The growing body of evidence that spend time outdoors reduces the risk of nearsightedness in children and adolescents.

One study concluded that each additional hour per week spent outside by children, myopia is decreased the risk by two percent. Myopic children in this study spent on average few than 3 + hours a week outside compared to people with normal vision.

Another study showed that students who had to spend 80 minutes playing outdoors every day for recess had reduced incidence of myopia compared with the children who were not. In a study of Danish children, the growth rate of the eye varies in relation to their exposure to daylight. This is important because, when the eye grows too long, the child becomes myopic. The children’s eyes grew normally during the long summer days, but grew quickly in the short winter days. Clinicians are not sure why the time spent outdoors was an advantage, but they feel the exposure to daylight.

A balance of near vision and distance is the best. Getting children outside and away from the TV, video games and other electronics is always sound advice. If you are concerned about your child’s vision or feel that they are showing signs of myopia please call Optique Professional Eye Care (918)743-9918 and schedule your child an eye exam.