Time indoors may increase myopia risk in children
ORLANDO, Fla. Increased time spent in natural light and viewing distant objects during childhood may reduce the risk of nearsightedness, according to a news release.
A review of data of 10,400 participants showed that for each additional hour outdoors per week, the chance of myopia dropped by about 2%, according to a presentation by Anthony Khawaja, MD, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Myopic children included in the study tended to spend about 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than children with normal vision or hyperopia.
Furthermore, increasing outdoor time might reduce the chances of myopia worsening, according to the release. In a Chinese study of 80 myopic children aged 7 years to 11 years, children assigned to spend at least 14 hours outdoors and less than 30 hours on near work per week were less myopic after 2 years than children in a control group, Dr. Khawaja said in the release.
"Increasing children's outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health," Dr. Khawaja said. "If we want to make clear recommendations, however, we'll need more precise data."
- Disclosure: Dr. Khawaja has no relevant financial disclosures.