A new study performed by a team of British Ophthalmologists from the King’s College has revealed that the more time we spend outside, the fewer chances are for us to develop myopia during adult life.
The new study shows that there is a strong connection between spending more time outdoors and nearsightedness or myopia. The study’s preliminary data suggests that people who spend more time performing outdoor activities have less chance of developing myopia during adulthood than people staying indoors.
For the purpose of this study, the team asked the help of 3,178 volunteers. The data suggests that 2,797 volunteers did not have myopia while the other 371 candidates were diagnosed and received treatment for progressive myopia. Note that the candidates’ average age was 65 years old.
According to the scientists, the candidates who were not diagnosed with myopia spent more time outdoors than indoors, while the other group valued indoor activities over outdoor activities. Based on their calculations, it would seem that individuals spending more time outside have 30 percent fewer chances of developing myopia during adulthood.
In addition, the researchers also discovered that the optimal timeframe for sun exposes 29 – 30 years old. Katie Williams, the study’s author, hypothesized that exposure to ultraviolet B radiation is the reason why people who spend more time outside have decreased chances of developing myopia.
However, it’s one thing to emit a hypothesis and another thing to prove it. Although the researchers admit that there is indeed a strong connection between UVB exposure and nearsightedness, they could not demonstrate the phenomenon. They do believe that vitamin D plays a significant role in the equation, but they haven’t been able to establish it.
Ian Morgan, an ophthalmologist from the Australian National University, declared that bright light could stimulate the brain to release extra dopamine, which, in turn, slows down the degradation of eyes’ cells.
Although spending time outside is a great piece of advice, there are a few things which you should look out for. Prolonged expose to UVB radiation increases the risk of melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer.
So, before leaving for the great outdoors for some fun and relaxation don’t forget your protective gear at home like sunglasses, umbrellas, and hats. In addition, for extra protection, don’t forget about sunscreen.
Image source: Geograph