Sunlight Exposure Reduces The Risk Of Nearsightedness

Posted: Dec 4 2016, 11:53am CST | by , Updated: Dec 4 2016, 10:32pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Sunlight Exposure Reduce the Risk of Nearsightedness
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New study links increased UVB radiation exposure to reduced risk of myopia

Exposure to sunlight may lower the risk for nearsightedness.

Teens and young adults who spend most of their time outdoors under the sunlight have reduced odds of developing nearsightedness later in their life. That's according to a new research.

Sunlight that reaches us contains ultraviolent B radiation (UVB). This radiation is generally considered harmful but new research suggests that it can benefits eye vision and protects from being nearsighted.

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common eye condition in which close things appear clear but the objects farther away look blurry. Based on 2008 report, National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that at least 33 percent of Americans are nearsighted and the number of people with myopia has increased significantly over the years. An array of environmental and genetic factors can contribute to myopia. Knowing these factors can help reduce the prevalence of the eye condition.

To examine the association of UVB radiation with myopia, researchers recruited a total of 4,187 randomly selected participants across the Europe, including Norway, Estonia, Greece and France. The average age of participants was 65 years. Of those, 371 had nearsightedness while 2,797 were not having the eye condition. 

Researchers examined the eyesight of the participants and collected their blood samples to determine the levels of vitamin D in their blood. Participants were also asked questions about their outdoor activities during daytime, from their teen and adulthood to their current age.

Researchers found that those with highest UVB exposure, especially in age 14 to 29, had about 30 percent lower risk of nearsightedness than those with the lowest exposure. Exposure to sunlight increases Vitamin D levels. However, study does not show a direct link between Vitamin D and lower risk of myopia. 

“Increased UVB exposure was associated with reduced myopia, particularly in adolescence and young adulthood. We found no convincing evidence for a direct role of Vitamin D in myopia risk.” Authors wrote in the study.

Researchers suggest that further research is needed to assess the relationship between UVB radiation and nearsightedness.

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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