Professors Karla Zadnik and Don Mutti of Ohio State University’s College of Optometry argued that easy access to technology — such as computers, video games, and smartphones — may negatively impact eye development among young patients. The experts stressed that the availability of these technologies and the hours spent on screen time raise the odds of developing myopia. However, this risk can be mitigated by spending more time outside and getting enough sunlight exposure.

The professors cited data from the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error study and noted that children whose parents both suffered from myopia had a 60 percent increased risk of requiring eyeglasses. However, the experts said children who spent as much as 14 hours per week playing outside may reduce the risk by up to 20 percent.

In another review, a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge examined eight studies with a total cohort population of 10,400 children and adolescents and found that each additional hour spent outdoors per week may reduce the risk of developing myopia by up to two percent.

The findings were presented at the annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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