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The Nearsightedness Epidemic



While not the kind of epidemic you're used to hearing about, nearsightedness is becoming a major health issue in many places. Learn about how scientists are finding out the reasons behind the increase in myopia, and how sunlight might be an important component.

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Sources:
http://www.nature.com/nature/ebooks/summer-books/nature-summer-reads.pdf (pp 18-20)
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/08/446876198/firstborns-may-be-more-nearsighted-and-parents-may-be-why
http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/02/05/383765377/why-is-nearsightedness-skyrocketing-among-chinese-youth
http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=420394
http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2448580
http://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(14)01196-8/abstract
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2441261
https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/10597/1/French_TimeOutdoors2013.pdf
http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2126968
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127863
http://www.popsci.com/why-are-so-many-people-nearsighted
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/11/16/scientists-hope-to-curb-the-nearsightedness-epidemic-with-eye-drops/


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Author chicnoobs ( ago)
my parents have 20/20 vision, i have myopia because i played computers alot as a kid, it is to do with your enviroment

Author sputnut ( ago)
Maybe, and this is just a hypothesis, it has to do with actually USING your distance vision, which happens much more often outside.

Author Spoony ( ago)
Well mine is definitely genetic, I spent hours a day outside as a kid and I can't see a 60 inch tv 8 feet away.

Author Jon Groubert ( ago)
It's not sunlight that's curing myopia. It's seeing things at a distance.

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, studious types, aka, people who read a lot, would develop myopia. To fix it, they would take the cure. What was that? Going out to sea.

When you're out at sea, you're focusing on things very far away. It is the exercise of your eye muscles that cures the myopia.

You can cure yourself the same way - or more to the point, if you have myopia, you can stop its progress. How? 10 minutes out of every hour, stop close work. Look up, look away, look across the room, look outside. This exercises your eye muscles and stops your myopia from progressing any further.

Author Cathy Nguyen ( ago)
Time to apply sunblock on my eyes and scare at the sun!

Author Aaron Fang Shenhao ( ago)
So will putting the brightness up on screens help? I've always put the brightness down when working because I thought it was bad.

Author TheEightshot ( ago)
So, a new insult for stupid people. "God, (s)he is so long sighted." :)

Author coolstay85 ( ago)
I don't think sunlight directly impact the children's eye development. however staying outdoor encourage people to see far. you go outside you pretty much see things far all the time like sky, buildings, mountains or ocean, which plays an important role on children's eye development. you don't use it, you lose it just like other part of body like bones, muscles and brain.

Author Eeriel Constantine ( ago)
So...sunlight. So we can look farther but cook our eyeballs faster. You can't win. *rolls nearsighted eyes*

Author Monica Miraflor ( ago)
Now what about astigmatism?

Author Spaldäm's FJ Adventures ( ago)
What if it's just that people who go outside learn to look father distances.

I like to go outside, and I was able to see far away when I was younger.

Author Elina Buchan ( ago)
my optometrist said studying a lot can make my myopia worse. kinda sucks. good grades, but at the cost of my vision ;;;;;

Author Jari Haukilahti ( ago)
less E-vitamin and not shaking your eyeballs to a round shape + doing math makes you nearsighted

Author anna chan ( ago)
I have astigmatism and I lost my glasses at my old school so I'm fucked. My double vision has gotten so bad, bUT I CANT GET NEW GLASSES YET CUZ MY MOoM TOLD ME I HAVE TO FIND MY OLD ONES OR ELSE, SORRY FOR VENTING ITS LIKE 2 amN. I LITERALLY GOT MY GLASSES IN AUGUST OF 2016 AND LOST THEM IN LESS THAB A FUCKING YEARRRDrtr

Author C Sanyk ( ago)
Theory: I would assume that people who spend more time outdoors spend more time looking at distant objects, which provides "exercise" to the eye to focus on distant objects. The more you do this, the better your eye gets.

Author Mystic Dust ( ago)
I have two glasses. One has a weaker prescription and I wear this most of the time. The other has a stronger prescription, and I use it to look at something from further away. It's annoying to switch back and forth, but at least I am actively doing accommodation by switching glasses.

Author Grimmm 258 ( ago)
but can my shit vision be reversed by going outside?

Author Moon Moon ( ago)
I have an astigmatism. Are there any environmental causes for this or is it just the shape of my eyes?

Author Phil Hub ( ago)
if the kids who spend more time outside have better long distance vision than their indoor counterparts, could it be practicing long distance looking?

Author RadicalOne 1912 ( ago)
This does make a lot of sense. When I was younger I was outside all the time, but when I started spending more time inside, that's when my vision started getting worse. Along with that, my friend, who is two years older than me can still see fine, but he also works for his grandpa's construction company (so he's outside a lot).

Author Storm Silvawalker ( ago)
maybe we will get less homework so we can go outside more?

ha nope just brighter lights in schools

Author DuncanDestruction ( ago)
What if it's something to do with the diet, such as a lack of enough Vitamin D, or high blood sugar? That would be an environmental factor that could explain how genetics only play a small role.

Author Alex Reilly ( ago)
Both of my parents had glasses by age 14. All three of their children (including me) had glasses before the age of 10. Me, I had glasses when I turned 7.
I guess I could have put of getting glasses for a little while... but genetics are a powerful thing.

Author Chocolate Chip Cookie ( ago)
So sunlight is good for you, but what about the people Who are allergic to the sun?
Risks are always there..

Author Nortio ( ago)
cool story bro, but what if im already nearsighted? can i go stare at the sun to fix my eyes

Author liquid klone ( ago)
I've always just thought that nearsightedness is gaining prevalence because people who are nearsighted are not dying because of it anymore.

Author James Rae ( ago)
There's also the interference of natural selection through the widespread use of glasses. I imagine that at some point, almost all humans will need extensive eye surgeries as infants in order to correct their no longer functional eyes, ironically making the problem even worse by not favoring those with better vision.

Author sn3192 ( ago)
wow, can't believe the stereotype about smartness and glasses actually had something to it....

Author ramp agent 92 ( ago)
I'm surprised fluorescent lighting wasn't mentioned here. what with the flickering of the bulbs and the almost all consuming use of them in public buildings.

Author NintendopePokemonFreak Ruben ( ago)
I see . . haha get it


..sorry I drink bleach now

Author Maxim Gun ( ago)
I guess praising the sun does have health benefits

Author Maxim Gun ( ago)
SUNLIGHT!?
REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Author Princess ナコルル ( ago)
Where does 'near sighted' come from? I've never heard this before.

You're either short-sighted (short range of vision) or long-sighted.

Author Remix Boost ( ago)
*Laughs in farsightedness*

Author Teacup4561 ( ago)
this video was so cool
I really enjoyed going through each step of the research process and I liked the way it was fully explained why and how the scientists got to each step.

Thanks! This was fun to watch!!

Author Ravindra Nagrecha ( ago)
my sister and i rarely goes outside and she does not have glasses but i do have?

Author Fida Aifiya ( ago)
i have astigmatism. bright light hurts as f*ck.

Author weblife nomaz ( ago)
and my parents said being in front of my pc all day was unhealthy...

Author weblife nomaz ( ago)
and my parents said being in front of my pc all day was unhealthy...

Author Arecaceae791 ( ago)
if I look close enough I can see the pixels on my monitor
but I can't read a sign from more than about ten meters away

Author Nicole Braun ( ago)
This doesn't make any sense. I spent hours and hours outside when I was a kid and I still developed near sightedness, now to the point where I'm over -8 in both eyes and they've never stabilized. Correlation doesn't equal causation.

Author Milan Sunil ( ago)
WTF he said that the Sydney children had more than 13 hours a week outside while the Singapore children had only 3 but he still said that can sunlight PREVENT near sightedness!

Author Eric P ( ago)
He is SO HOT

Author David Allen ( ago)
My dad's farsighted. But my older sister and I both noticed drastic changes in our eyesight by the time we got into Middle School. We've been nearsighted for the past 15 years now and it strangely changes. My eyes either get a little better or weaker after so long to the point I'm having to get new prescriptions every 2-3 years so far for over a decade. At least I've always been able to see clearly up close :)

Author Holly Michelle ( ago)
as a child, i never wore glasses or contacts unless i went to the movies or needed to see the chalkboard in school, and my eyes were only slightly blurry when looking far away. i played sports year-round and spent a lot of time outside as a result. i did this for over a decade, and my eyes never worsened. i was training them to view different objects at different distances. i didnt even need them to drive.

as soon as i got my first contacts at age 23, my eyesight declined noticeably because i was using my contacts to view things up close like my computer and phone as well as distant objects. i stopped wearing them altogether and my eyesight is back to where it was during childhood, just slightly blurry.

so i say, don't force your kids to get glasses or contacts too soon. they will rely on them (if worn all day) and will only need stronger and stronger prescriptions as they age. theres a lot of anecdotal evidence and research to suggest that you can fix (or at least improve) your nearsightedness gradually by training your eyes. it's definitely worked for me and my childhood nearsightedness was officially caused by genetics not just being inside.

Author Salma Hernandez ( ago)
ugh dont go blind and go outside or go outose and increase possibility of death....well as long as we have fun

Author Alex Wyman ( ago)
Do the studies account for how bad the myopia is? I'm near sighted but if I lived 100 years ago or if I didn't have eye insurance I would not wear glasses.

Author Dah Zodiac ( ago)
you cant put glasses on cancer. ill take my glasses on my eyes.

Author Sir Kane ( ago)
Fuckin nerds need glasses to show the world that they are infact nerds and are ready to be beaten for being nerds

Author Samantha Jacobs ( ago)
That might explain my issues exactly. I spent a good portion of my childhood outside and I didn't have eye problems. 6th grade hit and I started to stay indoors more and more often. I started developing eye issues in 7th grade but I didn't mention it cause it wasn't that bad. I pretty much spent my teenage years inside. I ended up needing to get glasses by 11th grade cause everything past 3 feet was blurry. And for the last several years of my young adulthood I've been inside almost completely. Now everything past almost a foot is blurry.

Man I really need to go outside. Now I have yet another reason to do so.

Author WolfydaWolf129 ( ago)
^reads title^ wait it's an epidemic?

WELP THIS IS THE ONLY EPIDEMIC I KNOW OF THAT'S AFFECTED ME

seriously without my glasses i can't even see something that's literally only 5 inches from my face

it's frustrating because i misplace my glasses a lot

Author TravistheHuman ( ago)
Do outdoor classrooms.

Author Krizefugl ( ago)
still sounds like bullshit. ive been outside as a child and im still outside almost every day now and even enjoy rainy weather. yet i have almost -7 diopter on both eyes.

Author Robert Hilden ( ago)
Could it be that we aren't looking at closer distances than before, like walls instead of looking at far away natural features while being outside?

Author Samus Kerrigan ( ago)
so, stare into the sun to cure myopia, but you will get sunburn in the eyeballs and blindness lol, l should stop binge watching these videos

Author minimoto23 ( ago)
It's because ugly nearsighted people reproduce with other ugly nearsighted people more!!

Author Cameron Frye ( ago)
I have -7.5/-7 eyesight at 17 with myopia, and I've been trying very hard to get better eyes. I do not at all expect sunlight to be my all-perfect cure, but could it at least help? On my own soon enough, I really am sick of contacts after only a decade.

Author Victor F Rodriguez Jr ( ago)
Sooo it seems like children needs to spend more time outside like back in the day.

Author Christoffer113 ( ago)
Why do people forget how much reading and writing is in schools? Its literally the only thing that happens other than the 20 minute recesses, bullying, and "teaching". If we can't rule out near work, then we DO have proof of it increasing the chances because of that education evidence. You don't magically need glasses because you're smarter.

Author Crossassin ( ago)
Genetically I am supossed to be blinder than a jellyfish or a bat. Both my parents and grandparents have some eyesight problems yet there is me with a perfect vision.

Author Sundude ( ago)
...S is for sunscreen, but also the sun.
Both give you cancer, now isn't that fun!?

Author J Brady ( ago)
Its not sunlight. It is just being outside and on the ability to focus on things far away. No one can focus on faraway objects if they are inside.

Author Reptarsaurus ( ago)
if blind people can't see sunlight does that mean they have a higher chance of myopia?




I'm being stupid on purpose trust me I'm nearsighted

Author Charles Michael ( ago)
i would huff Aranda's balls indefinitely

Author neptunusmaris ( ago)
What about adults?

Author deth kon ( ago)
Look at the sun its the only way!

Author kilAcez21 ( ago)
Dude.. I'm the first born and I wear glasses. No one in the family besides me has glasses 🤓🙄

Author peggyt1243 ( ago)
These statistics are distorted. For decades in China, all children were the first born because there was no second born. In the developed world, most couples have two children so 50% of children are the first born.

Author Nick Diaz ( ago)
that's why Asians are always squinting

Author Beta Flight ( ago)
If sunlight is the key, should we also be able to see trends in parts of the world that physically receives less sunlight, such as cloudy seattle or denmark with its dark winters? o.o

Author Emerald D ( ago)
Funny how it's really prevalent in Asia hahahah

Author Great Meme Warrior ( ago)
Yea tell the kids to go outside in China haha

Author Emptyourbrain ( ago)
3 hours a week outside???????????????????????????????

Author Chronically Me ( ago)
Are there any studies like these about astigmatism?

Author Dink mtz ( ago)
I know it's a very small test sample but all of my sister's kids are nearsighted and have been wearing glasses since like kindergarten or younger. One got them a little older. Since they could walk they've been playing outdoor sports. We grew up latch key kids in the age before Internet, so we spent our childhoods outside, all three of us are nearsighted. My dad is nearsighted (he grew up in the desert states of Mexico), my mom used to have normal vision. I think my dad was the only one in his family to need glasses. I wonder if after so many generations, your genes just say eff it?

Author glenisterm ( ago)
Fluorescent lights in schools?

Author neilbrylle malunes ( ago)
I'm nearsighted too, and i hate going outside xD but I wanna know this guy's name. :)

Author Richard Chassereau ( ago)
If the answer is sunlight, then perhaps schools could add large skylights to classrooms, with window tinting to control to the intensity.

Author DaxXx988 ( ago)
isn't it obvious that the big cause are all the modern devices and screens we have around?

Author Germanzer ( ago)
why does this guy always sound like he's loudly whispering.

Author Mikeey Kimber aka 85 ( ago)
False lighting/fluorescent lighting, the fact we are don't use long sight for much most everything is right there within reach... Nearsightedness epidemics could be because we just don't use sight beyond reach. Phones close to our face, tablets close to our face, text books close to our face...Humans are devolving because everything is too convenient. We don't work for anything anymore. We don't need to see long distances because everything is pretty much in reach. Im the oldest. perfect 20/20 vision and I have excellent sight in low light conditions, my ears ring a lot but I can hear an old tube television when it's turned on (it makes a high pitched ringing as well).... Again we are devolving due to convenience.... The machines are getting smarter. Soon humans will just be an inconvenience. End of program end of story.

Author Pinche wey ( ago)
i was outside a lot a child and my wife hasn't...i have perfect vision. she hasn't.

Author Julian Lakay ( ago)
Spot on, i've been trying to get more and regular sunlight without sunglasses over the last few years. It's been the first time my eyesight hasn't gotten worse.

Author Shetasen ( ago)
yay! treat your vit D deficiency and your eyes!

Author 10splayerluv ( ago)
Interesting that researchers drew a link between low sunlight exposure in southeast asian countries and education. Perhaps true, but in many of these countries, having light or fair skin is considered beautiful and desirable. Could also be a factor.

Author Evan Ulven ( ago)
Exposing kids to sunlight would mean they're not all but chained to desks doing meaningless make work and being good little quiet drones. Letting them outside might also cause recess to occur, and we certainly can't have that nowadays. How could they reach the completely arbitrary test score thresholds or get into Harvard at 16 if they waste time outdoors?

There must be a better theory than this heretical light-dopamine monstrosity. In fact, isn't dopamine a drug? You think our kids need to be on drugs other than ritalin? How dare you!

Author Lexi Schmitz ( ago)
Nobody in my family is nearsighted, besides me and my oldest sister.

Author Victor Ibarra ( ago)
is this video sped up?

Author rein duhr ( ago)
The ringing bell in the background is annoying!

Author Shinta Himura ( ago)
My great grandma always told me: children who don't sleep on time and don't wake up early have more chance on bad eyesight.

Author Mallory Fry ( ago)
That actually makes sense with the pale spindly nerd stereotype of people with glasses

Author Spiral Python ( ago)
It would be interesting to look at incidence of myopia amongst the Amish, with there very outdoor lifestyle.

Author ElementalFX ( ago)
No way sports. Yuck! But go hiking! Go biking; climb a mountain or something! Spend time outside doing something fun and exhilarating. That is my recommendation. As an indoor nerd/geek, I hate exercise and sports, but I *loooove* hiking, camping, and mountain climbing. I live for the outdoors, and consider myself one of the top-level pro hikers and wilderness navigators. Spending time outside is so much more fun when you're doing something that you enjoy doing. That way, you can get all the sun exposure you need. ;)

Author Kevin Llanera ( ago)
Yeah sunlight is free, but that doesn't matter if you live in Ireland.

Author Bobby Harper ( ago)
Every time outsiders come into our village these nearsightedness episodes begin.

Author xtin77 ( ago)
What about adults with myopia? Does going out more in the sunlight have any beneficial qualities now that my eyes have stopped developing in my adolescent years?

Author Tobori ( ago)
How many people are going to show this to toeir parents so they stop telling you video games are bad for your eyes

Author eustagoesout ( ago)
educate your sight

Author Beelzebub The One True Demon King Of Kittens ( ago)
kek, anything longer than my arm?, try everything longer than my nose is blurry

Author halfrightface ( ago)
This was published in Dec. 2015. Pokemon Go was released in summer 2016. This is not a coincidence.

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