CONWAY, S.C., Feb. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conway and Myrtle Beach area optometry practice, Vaught Eye Associates, is raising awareness about an easy way to reduce the risk for myopia (or nearsightedness) in both children and adults. Studies have shown that the simple act of spending more time outdoors can assist with preventing myopia as well as slowing its progression. Dr. James Vaught of Vaught Eye Associates explains, “Both adults and children at risk for myopia can benefit from more time spent outdoors. Recent research has shown that even just 40 minutes per day of outdoor time can have significant eye and vision health benefits.”
A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and conducted in China supports these findings. While researchers are not sure exactly why these benefits occur, experts do have some theories about what is happening in terms of vision health when we go outdoors.
Sun exposure is known for increasing vitamin D production in the body, which assists in a range of health functions and benefits. Being outdoors also results in more visual opportunities to use one’s far-away distance vision, stimulating the use of the eyes in a wider spectrum than when indoors. Bright light exposure also releases chemicals like dopamine within the retina of the eye to stimulate its growth and regeneration.
Other health benefits may include exposure to beneficial microorganisms from the soil while outdoors. Research has shown the soil bacterium called mycobacterium vaccae increases learning behavior and also has anti-depressant qualities during exposure. The soil bacterium stimulates serotonin production, which boosts mood and also signals eye growth via activity in the retina.
The outdoor vision benefits seem not to correlate with reading less or engaging close-up vision less; improvement seems to occur regardless of indoor reading habits. Spending time outdoors is the main variable, whether a child or adult engages in indoor reading or not. It also doesn’t seem to matter if the individuals are exercising outdoors by engaging in sporting activities. While exercising can benefit health in numerous other ways, those who were not being active also received vision benefits from just being outdoors.
While the exact connections and causes of the reduction of myopia risk to being outdoors are not clear, the benefits themselves are. That said, people should take care to mitigate too much UV exposure; both the skin and the eyes should be protected from intense or prolonged exposure to sunlight while outdoors.
Vaught Eye Associates is located at 1406 Main Street in Conway, South Carolina. They offer a range of comprehensive services as well as specialized assistance in the areas of eye injuries, infections, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and more. Those wanting more information about myopia risks and considerations may call (843) 488-2020 or visit the Vaught Eye Associates website.
Vaught Eye Associates, (843) 488-2020
Source:Vaught Eye Associates