Outdoor time may prevent nearsightedness

October 10, 2017   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

A Medscape article from July 11, 2017 highlights information from British Journal of Opthamology showing young children who play outdoors are less likely to be nearsighted. This research looked at a large sampling (5,711) of children from Rotterdam, participating in a long-term study, participating from birth to age 6. At age 6, a full medical exam was done, showing 2.4% were myopic. In addition, children who did not play outdoors had lower Vitamin D levels and higher body mass index, than the group who played outdoors. Differences in myopic presentation, once thought to be genetic, may in fact be due to lifestyle differences between ethnic groups. This study highlights the importance of all medical providers to advice minor patients and their parents to spend less time in front of computers, TVs and hobbies requiring close up work, and more time at far-sighted activities outdoors. This practice is showing promise to prevent myopia in later years.