Not true BUT if you want your kid not to need them, here's how - If you assume that everyone will need glasses after a certain age, it turns out that's not true. Spending pending two to three hours a day outdoors can markedly lower a child's risk of becoming nearsighted. And playing video games IMPROVES your kid's vision!
Ophthalmologist Terri Young says, "Myopia is the leading eye disability in the world: a significant global public health concern." About one-third of US adults suffer from it, and the number of individuals with myopia is estimated to grow from 1.6 billion worldwide today to 2.5 billion by the year 2020.
According to new research, the critical factor for reducing the development of myopia in children seems to be total time spent outdoors during daylight hours. Sports or physical activity does not appear to play a role: studies found that both active and passive outdoor activities had a protective effect on vision, while sports played indoors were found not to have this effect. A child's chances of needing glasses to read (if he or she has two myopic biological parents) are about 6 in 10 for children engaging in 0-5 hours per week of outdoor activity, but the risk drops to 2 in 10 when outdoor activity exceeds 14 hours a week.
And guess what? Researchers don't know WHY this is. Optometrists Jane Gwiazda and Li Deng say, "The features of outdoor activity (such as sunlight and distance viewing) that may be protective against myopia development remain to be determined."
Parents worry that playing video games will damage their child's eyes, but BBC News reports that they actually make their adult vision better, because they improve our ability to notice even very small changes in what we're seeing. This "contrast sensitivity" (such as the ability to see black figures against a black background) deteriorates as we get older.
Art credit: Dreamstime.com
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