Mar 24, 2015 09:49 AM EDT
Myopia, more commonly known as being short-sighted, has long been thought to be linked primarily to our genes. However, research has surfaced in recent years that suggests other factors may be to blame for the rise in the number of people needing glasses. One of these factors is the amount of time we spend indoors, versus previous generations.
BBC.com reported in January that recent research suggests that children who spend more time outdoors tend to have better eyesight than those who spend their lives inside. One of the reports cited in the article dispel the notion that exercise and overall good health practices help protect the eyes. Children in the studies who were not extremely active showed the same tendencies as children who were.
The one commonality that was found to be present in those with good eyesight was time spent outdoors. Sunlight is good for the eyes, and many people believe it actually nourishes them. Children who spend their time indoors playing video games and surfing the web force their eyes to focus on objects that are close to them for hours on end. This could indeed be a strong factor in the increase of short-sighted teens and young adults.
The outdoors allows your eyes to focus on a wide range of objects that are both near and far, allowing your eyes to utilize their full strength. This could have a similar effect on your eyes that lifting weights has on your body. Strengthening your eyes by spending time outdoors might just prevent you from needing glasses later in life.
The facts speak for themselves, and the research goes on, even today. Myopia is a looming problem, with 30-40 percent of Americans finding glasses a necessity. Encouraging our children to ditch their video games for an afternoon in the park might just be the best preventive medicine for Myopia.
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