You’ve probably heard a lot about how sunlight and outdoor activity is the best way to prevent myopia from progressing, but how true is this?
Let the sunshine in.
It’s getting hot out there, and sometimes it feels unbearable to even step out for 5 minutes under the sun. However, it has been proven through numerous studies that exposure to sunlight can help prevent myopia from developing. One particular study done by JAMA ophthalmology studied over 300 men and women diagnosed with myopia and over 2000 without myopia. They subsequently interviewed them about their health and behavioural habits and studied their exposure to UVB rays. The study found that participants who had the highest exposure to UVB rays, particularly teenagers and young adults, possessed a 30% reduced risk of contracting myopia than those with low to no exposure to UVB.
Other research has shown that Vitamin D, which is emitted from the sun, plays a role in preventing the progression of myopia. The study suggested lower levels of Vitamin D accounts for the severity of myopia. A similar study was conducted in Korea and over 2000 participants got their Vitamin D levels checked. They found that the low levels of Vitamin D found in participants correlated with high levels of myopia.
Therefore, substantial research has demonstrated a strong correlation between sunlight exposure and low levels of myopia. However, the true struggle of bringing your child outdoors to enjoy basking in the sun is the allure of digital smart technologies such as smartphones, tablets, etc. When that happens, it’s always good to try new things outdoors – perhaps sign your child up for outdoor sports classes, or go to a new park in your neighbourhood to play; show them new experiences they can enjoy away from the screens.
Bring them out to play.
However, it’s not that smartphones should be banned entirely as they are useful for connecting with others. Rather, constant near-work activity indoors can contribute to eye strain and stress which can cause myopia to develop rapidly so it’s healthy to take consistent eye breaks and limit your child’s screen time. The plano app can help monitor your children’s smartphone use and develop good eye-care habits in your child to prevent myopia from progressing. The face-to-screen distance function helps to measure the distance between your child’s eyes and his/her device, and eye break prompts remind your child to take regular eye breaks.
Besides that, the plano app allows your child to earn points for following healthy eye care habits. Your children can use those points to request for outdoor adventures and enrichment classes. Bringing your children out to play outdoors is one of the most important things you can do to prevent myopia from developing too rapidly. In fact, as reported in our plano report, a school in Taiwan reduced the number of new myopia cases by 50% just by taking their recess outdoors.
So get your children outdoors, get them active, and help prevent myopia from developing with the help of the sun.