Why More Young People Become Nearsighted Sooner

Video producer Christophe Haubursin of Vox put on his glasses to look at the increasing rate of myopia (nearsightedness) among children worldwide. The largest culprit is time spent indoors and in front of screens.

he abruptness of this increase suggests that that this change is environmental. Something about the way we live today is making it harder and harder for people to see at a distance. …Two factors in particular have the biggest influence. Near work or the time that we spend looking at things up close… and how much time we spend indoors.

He consulted with Professor Seang Mei Saw of the Singapore Eye Research Institute and other experts, who agreed.

Exposure to bright outdoor light stimulates the production of dopamine in the retina. This neurotransmitter regulates the eyes growth… without enough dopamine the eye doesn’t know when to stop growing and indoors it’s hard to get enough. The light from the sun has up to a 100,000 lux on a sunny day. Whereas in the room the light levels generally and only about 200 to 300 lux. But between electronic devices and early emphasis on academics… eye experts believe that children today are growing up with a combination of too little daylight and too much time doing things up close.

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