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More outdoor time may reduce the risk of nearsightedness in kids

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More outdoor time may reduce the risk of nearsightedness in kids

New research findings show that when kids spend more time outdoors they reduce their risk of developing myopia or nearsightedness.

New research findings show that when kids spend more time outdoors they reduce their risk of developing myopia or nearsightedness.

From an examination of eight studies of over 10,000 kids and adolescents, researchers found that for each hour kids spend outdoors, their chance of developing nearsightedness drops by 2 percent.

Nearsighted kids spend on average 3.7 hours less time outdoors each week than kids who have normal eyesight or who are farsighted.

While more research is required, evidence suggests that being exposed to natural outdoor light and/or increased time spent focusing on objects that are far away may be key factors.

Researchers are also studying whether the increased time kids spend performing near activities, such as playing video games or using computers is causing an increase in nearsightedness.

Nearsightedness is much more common in countries around the world today than it was in the 1970s. In some parts of Asia, more than 80 percent of people are nearsighted.

Eye Health Month
October is Eye Health Month. The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) stresses the importance of regular eye examinations for eye health.

According to the CAO, 80 percent of learning involves visual activities, yet only 30 percent of students have eye examinations before they start school. Studies show that children with undiagnosed vision problems have a greater chance of dropping out of school.

Increasing the amount of time kids spend outdoors may be a simple, cost-effective way to improve kids’ vision.

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