funny kid with glassesWho would have thought that spending less time outdoors and more time indoors could have a negative effect on the distance vision of a child?  According to Medscape, research presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology showed that children with daily outdoor exposure displayed significantly reduced rates of distance vision problems.  The study included 6,690 multiethnic children, who were all the age of 6.  Furthermore, each child’s visual acuity (reading the smallest letters possible on the eye chart) and eye length were measured (Patients that have difficulty seeing distance objects often have an increased eye length).

 Additionally, it was discovered that there is a possible correlation between the amount of time spent indoors and increased eye length.  As stated before, an increase in eye length leads to an increase in the amount of nearsightedness.  Moreover, there was a slighter correlation between the amount of near work and increased eye length.  Children who spent more than 2 hours a day on near work and computer games showed increased eye length, while results in children who spent more than 2 hours outdoors a day proved to be superior.  It has also been reported that the high rates of nearsightedness in East Asia have been attributed to the extreme amounts of homework requirements that keep students indoors and fixated on near tasks for long hours. 

 Children may possibly diminish the onset of distance vision issues by spending at least 15 hours a week outdoors and avoiding excess amounts of near work.  With the boom in technology and the advancement in smart phones and tablet devices, it has become apparent that children are spending less amount of time outdoors.  This trend of nearsightedness will likely continue due to the nature of our society.


Source: Medscape