kids and nearsightednessAs a parent, you know you’re determined to get your kids to spend more time outside.  After all, you believe that your kids spend way too much time on their computers or playing the latest epic game designed for at least ten straight hours of play.  Sometimes it may feel like you’re pulling teeth, but you always manage to get them to spend a few hours in the sunshine.

It turns out that you may be doing more than helping your kids become more active – you may very well be helping them reduce the chances of becoming nearsighted.

The Great Outdoors and Reducing Nearsightedness

When it comes to reducing nearsightedness in your children, you may have followed the old wives’ tales that insist more carrots and less time reading in the dark are the way to go.  However, there may be another way to help your children reduce their chances of becoming nearsighted and spending every few months at the eye doctors: get them to play outside more.

Several recent studies have espoused the idea that children spending more time outdoors are significantly reducing their risks of becoming nearsighted.  Besides evidence that points to the skyrocketing trend of nearsightedness in today’s modern age (as opposed to the 1970s), one study demonstrated that for each hour children spend outside each week, their risk of becoming nearsighted dropped by at least two percent.  As a marker for this study, researchers concluded that nearsighted children spent 3.7 fewer hours outside than children with normal or farsighted vision.

Another study supported these fascinating findings by arguing that children who spend at least 80 minutes of time outside each day at school were less likely to be nearsighted than children who were not required to spend time in the outdoors.

Researchers aren’t sure why the connection between nearsightedness and less time outdoors exists, but there’s enough of a link for them to feel confident to tell families to spend as much time outside as possible.  These researchers are also confident that it’s a lack of daylight creating the link, rather than playing sports or any other outdoor-specific activities.

Protect Your Vision at New View Eye Center

When you want to protect the vision and ocular health of your entire family, visit Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths and her team at New View Eye Center in Reston, Virginia, which also serves the greater Washington, D.C. area. To learn more, or if you have any questions, leave us a note here or call 703-834-9777.