Lower Risk Of Nearsightedness
Play Outdoors With Your Children
Data from the Sydney Myopia Study, which included reports from the parents of over 4,000 Australian school children, was analyzed in a new study led by Kathryn A. Rose M.D..
In the Sydney Myopia Study, parents reported on the daily activities of their children (age 6 or 12). These activities were classified as either indoor or outdoor, and parents noted whether the activity required the use of near, medium, or distance vision. The refractive error of each child and their parents was also recorded, as well as their ethnicity.
Dr. Rose's study found a correlation between frequent outdoor activity and better vision in the 12 year old children, which was unrelated to the amount of near work. There was also a strong association in the same age group between myopia, less outdoor activity, and high levels of near work. The type of activity was not found to be an important factor.
Myopia is often caused by the eyeball being too long. Due to this increased length, light entering the eye does not focus sharply on the retina, resulting in blurry vision. When stimulated by intense light, the retina of the human eye releases dopamine, which inhibits eye growth, and may help prevent myopia.
In addition, bright light causes the pupil to constrict, allowing sharp vision for a greater range of distance.
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