Playing outdoor games can improve eyesight in children, says study

Parents should encourage outdoor activities in children and not make them sit in front of computers

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Playing outdoor games could boost your kid's eyesight Pixabay

With the advancement in technology, computer usage among kids has become something very regular. Parents are worried about their kids' eyesight because of endless hours spent on electronic devices such as smartphones, gaming consoles, and computer. However, experts suggest that engaging in outdoor activities and sports in the sunlight can help them improve their eyesight.

In this digitalized world, almost every single person is crazy about using the internet. Nearly 94 percent of the American families with children have computers with full access to the internet. The average time spent by children aged between 8 -18 years on electronic devices saw a hike from 6.19 hours in 1999 to 7.37 hours in 2009.

Myopia also called short-sightedness or near-sightedness is a condition of the eye where the light enters the eye but does not focus on the retina. This causes an image, usually a distant object that one sees, to be out of focus. It usually does not affect the vision when looking at a close object.

Also read: Outdoor light helps prevent short-sightedness in children

Lack of sufficient amount of natural light might be the key cause behind the condition, claimed experts.

"The main factor seems to a lack of exposure to direct sunlight because children who study a lot and who use computers or Smartphone or tablet computer a lot have less opportunity to run around outside and are less exposed to sunshine," said Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

According to the experts, it will be challenging for parents to limit the screen use for their children. They said that the best way to solve the situation is to get the kids outside to play.

"Protective of myopia development is time outdoors- sport and leisure outdoors are protective of eyesight," said Chris Hammond, Professor at King's College, London.

The previous study that was conducted by the National Eye Institute showed that short-sightedness among American children has drastically increased from 25 percent to 41.6 percent over three decades. However, children who are aged 12 and above, have become more vulnerable to the condition by 59.8%. The study was published in 2009 in Archives of Ophthalmology.

The experts say that a diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamins A, C, E can be extremely helpful in treating this condition. Furthermore, they have advised children to go for regular eye checkups to keep a control on the condition.

This article was first published on December 29, 2017