Do you think that glasses are becoming more common? How many people do you know that has had laser eye surgery? For almost a decade, ongoing research has investigated why our vision is changing and recent reports say that there could be a simple solution to blurry vision. The BBC News published Outdoor play ‘good for the eyes’ on the 15th of Sepetember, 2015.
According to new research from China:
“Getting children to play outside for 40 minutes a day could be a way to curb growing rates of short-sightedness.”
Researchers asked six schools to test the strategy over three years and it appeared to be beneficial. The findings in Jama support the theory that children need to balance “close up” work, like reading, with activities that use distance vision.
Short sightedness is when one can see close up such as books, but things at a distance are difficult to see clearly. Comparatively, long-sightedness is the ability to see far away, but things up close are blurry.
“Short-sightedness or myopia is thought to affect up to one in three people in the UK and is becoming more common… It runs in families but environmental factors, such as spending lots of time on a computer or reading, have also been linked to the condition.”
This has prompted to researchers to look at the effect of the early environment on the development of eye problems.
The research investigated 259 school students at 12 schools over the course of 3 years. Half of the schools added outdoor play to their day time schedule, and the other 6 did not. Parents also diarised their children’s’ activities outside of school. When the study began only 2% of the participants had short-sightedness, and by the end 30% in the intervention group and 40% in the control group developed the condition.
“This is clinically important because small children who develop myopia early are most likely to progress to high myopia, which increases the risk of pathological myopia. Thus a delay in the onset of myopia in young children, who tend to have a higher rate of progression, could provide disproportionate long-term eye health benefits,” the researchers say in Jama.”
Editorial commentary has called for further research into the area.