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Myopia and the great outdoors.

If you want to prevent or inhibit childhood myopia, it seems the great outdoors has the answers.  Recent Australian research released its preliminary findings that link outdoor activities and low myopic rates in children.  The research is the result of a four-year study by a team at Sydney University NSW.

For many years, researchers have been studying the association of near work and myopia, “near work” meaning reading or any activity where a fair degree of focusing is required.

Dr Rose says there is evidence to suggest a ‘well-established link between academic achievement and myopia.  In other words, those who achieve academically have a greater rate of myopia.  That finding seems to be consistent.’

The current research has shown that outdoor activity is in fact protective for developing myopia.  So, if a child had more outdoor activity then the child would be able to protect itself from becoming myopic.

The researchers conclusion was that the outdoor light, which is much brighter than indoor light acts as a ‘stop signal’ to eye growth.  Therefore this research indicates that we should encourage our children to play outside regularly, of course with the best sun protection available for their eyes (sunglasses) and skin. 

Adapted from Mivision


This article was published on Monday 25 May, 2009.