We can't blame our parents entirely for being near-sighted or can we? In addition to genetic factors, there are many environmental factors include near-work (reading, computer use, Ipad/Iphone use), limited outdoor activity, living in urban vs rural areas, and education. For many years, I have encouraged my patients to take breaks from computers and reading and do more outdoor activities. But..How can we compete with others in school and get in the Ivy league schools without spending hours in front of books/computers and memorizing the encyclopedia/wikipedia? Having a balanced life is important. I find that I feel so much better after taking a little outdoor break, even if it is just a walk or short hike. There are more and more studies supporting the more time spent outdoors help with preventing myopia. The good news is that I am seeing a trend of parents encouraging their kids to participate in outdoor activities.
Plan a trip outdoors, go hiking, go to the beach before school starts!
Researchers at the University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany examined nearsightedness in 4,685 Germans ages 35 to 74, excluding anyone with cataracts or who had undergone refractive surgery. The Gutenberg Health Study showed that myopia appeared to become more prevalent as education level increased:
- 24 percent with no high school education or other training were nearsighted.
- 35 percent of high school graduates and vocational school graduates were nearsighted.
- 53 percent of university graduates were nearsighted.