Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition that causes people to experience blurry vision while looking at distant objects. It’s becoming a more common condition worldwide, with half of the global population estimated to have the condition by 2050.
Genetics plays a significant role in the development of myopia, but environmental factors such as lifestyle habits and prolonged near-work are also considered contributing factors.
Spending time outdoors is a lifestyle habit that has been suggested to improve myopia. At Little Lake Family Eye Care Myopia Center in Barrie, we offer myopia management to help slow the progression of myopia in children and young adults.
Studies on Myopia
The Myopia and Outdoor Activities (MOA) study, conducted in China, found that children who spent more time outdoors significantly reduced their chance of developing myopia compared to children who spent more time indoors.
This study has been supported by several other studies that also suggest a correlation between time spent outdoors and myopia prevention.
Why Spending Time Outdoors Could Improve Myopia
Sunlight and Vitamin D
Sunlight exposure is believed to be one of the key factors that contribute to the beneficial effect of spending time outdoors on myopia. Sunlight triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that inhibits the elongation of the eyeball, which is a major factor in myopia development. Sunlight also helps the body produce vitamin D, which has anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against myopia development.
Outdoor activities also promote physical activity, which has been linked to reduced risk of myopia. Exercise increases blood flow to the eye, delivering more nutrients and oxygen that are necessary for eye health.
Less Near Work
Spending time outdoors also means less time engaging in near work, which is a known risk factor for myopia. Near work includes activities such as reading, writing, and using electronic devices, which require the eyes to focus on close objects for extended periods.
Myopia Management in Barrie
While spending time outdoors may not cure myopia, it can play a significant role in preventing its development. If your child has myopia, set up an appointment with Little Lake Family Eye Care Myopia Center in Barrie to find out how myopia management can benefit them.