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Our news article.


How to prevent your eyesight from worsening.

Every day I get asked, “How can I prevent my children from needing glasses?” or “How can I prevent their eyes from getting worse?” This is a question that haunts both parents and eyecare providers on a daily basis.

There is no question that practices worldwide are seeing an increase in nearsighted kids. Many research studies have looked at the increased workload such as reading, computer use, and texting as the cause for this problem. While these activities definitely increase the need for the focusing system to be working overtime, a clear link for the development of nearsightedness to these activities has been difficult to establish.

The question of genetics has also been addressed in many studies. A recent study of Singapore Chinese preschool children published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology showed agreement with many other studies that children with two nearsighted parents have a much greater risk of being nearsighted than those with one or no nearsighted parents. Also, children with even one nearsighted parent have a much greater risk of needing glasses than those children whose parents are not nearsighted. Thus there seems to be a definite genetic component to the question of “Will my child need glasses?”

Another research study conducted in England, looked at the correlation between time spent outdoors at any early age (3 to 9 years old) and development of myopia in early adolescence (10-15 years old). The result of this epidemiological study was quite pronounced. “Additional time spent outdoors across the 3 to 9 years age range was associated with a reduced incidence of myopia between ages 10 and 15 years.” The exact mechanism for this effect is unclear, but the evidence supporting time outdoors as an effective intervention to reduce the prevalence of myopia is mounting.

So. Here is my answer to all parents: If you want to decrease the likelihood of your young children becoming myopic, send them outside to play! That’s right, turn off the TV, the cell phone, and the video game console and turn them loose in the schoolyard, the backyard and the playground.