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Solution to Myopia: Spend More Time Outside

Myopia that has grown to be an epidemic in children can be curbed by increasing exposure to sunshine.

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Sometimes, sunshine is the answer to life woes. A new study conducted by optometrists from Australia indicates that exposure to outdoor light will help decrease cases of myopia in children. If children spend around two hours outside on a daily basis, they will be shielded from developing myopia, or at least, the progress of the condition will slow down for those who are already myopic.

Now, now, hold your horses before blaming the computer. It is a common argument nowadays to blame the computer (or the mobile phone; anything with screens, really) for most of life’s problems. Parents will generally claim their kids’ laptops and smartphones are the reasons for their decline in health, physical or mental, for their bad behaviour, and what not. However, this might not be all that true. In the case of myopia, looking at screens for prolonged periods of time is not the direct cause – rather, it is the lack of sunshine, says lead researcher, Scott Read who is the director of research at QUT’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. On the other hand, screens do constitute an indirect reason: they cause children to spend more time indoors than outdoors.

Read adds that optometrists should warn their patients that less than an hour of exposure to outside light might increase one’s risk to develop myopia.

Next time you fear for your eyes, remember to just go outside and breathe some fresh air as your body gets exposed to the light. While we should not blame our screens, we should also not use them to deprive ourselves of what our bodies need. Those who say that sunshine is healing might be more right than we would have thought.

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