The American Academy of Ophthamology’s annual meeting presented results of multiple research projects that evaluated the relationship wtween outdoors and the effeccts on eyes in greater than ten thousand children. The studies found that the more time the children spent in the outdoors playing or in some physical activitiy, the more the chance of impaired eyesight went down. The effect seems to be only for nearsighted kids. The percentage of nearsighted kids dropped in comparison to those with normal vision or with farsightedness.
Ophthamologists agree that it is not clear why activity makes vision better, however the results canno be denied. Exercise of the eyes, avoiding exposure to up close reading, avoidance of web surfing or video games are all thoughts that have been surfaced. The increased exposure to UV light is another factor as well. Before science recommends that we spend less time indoors and more time outdoors, the causal effect must be understood.
In Asia, myopia cases have jumped by as much as 75% or more among kids and at least as much in the United States. Much of our children in society spend great amounts of time indoors and very little outside compared to the kids of yesterday. Exercise, fresh air and sunshine have been repaced by TV and video games or just sitting aound indoors. If the current trend continues, experts believe that we will eventually have a generation of myopic kids with little interest in outdoors and little imagination.
Increasing outdoor activity may reduce the rates of myopia and even reverse some cases. Studies have shown that kids made to go outdoors were has less problems with nearsightedness after a couple years.