Myopia or nearsightedness affects close to 2.5 billion people worldwide. Briefly, myopia is a refractive error that affects the ability to see distant objects clearly, while those nearby appear sharp. The prevalence of this condition has been steadily increasing in recent years. It is particularly notable in urban areas and among young people. Lifestyle habits can lead to a significant impact on the progression of nearsightedness.
Many people today spend most of their time staring at digital screens. It could be while working on their computers or using their tablets or smartphones for entertainment. Research shows that excessive screen time can contribute to myopia progression. It is particularly acute in children and young adults. Prolonged near work causes the eye to elongate, leading to the development of myopia.
Spending time outdoors has a protective effect against myopia progression. Children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to develop nearsightedness than those who spend more time indoors. Exposure to natural light and the visual stimuli of the outdoors helps regulate the growth of the eye and prevents its elongation.
Diet plays a significant role in the progression of nearsightedness. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and zinc helps protect against myopia. Processed food, on the other hand, increases your chances of developing myopia. A high intake of carbohydrates and sugar can increase your insulin levels. The habits are shown to contribute to the development of myopia.
Exercising has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of myopia progression. Studies show that children who engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least an hour a day are less likely to develop nearsightedness than those who are less active. Exercise helps increase blood flow to the eyes, stimulating the release of growth factors vital for eye health.
Adequate sleep is essential for your eye health. Children who get less than seven hours of slumber every night are more likely to develop nearsightedness than those who get more sleep. Lack of sleep leads to increased cortisol levels. Cortisol is known to contribute to eye elongation and myopia progression.
Many people experience eyestrain, particularly those who spend more time working from home. These include tasks like using a computer, iPad or reading. Eyestrain can also cause problems such as headaches.
With eyes strained, you may experience dry eyes and blurred vision. It can also contribute to myopia progression. You can reduce your eyestrain risk by taking frequent breaks and practicing good ergonomics. Doing so can entail placing the computer screen at a correct angle and distance.
Smoking leads to numerous health problems, like myopia. People who smoke have an increased chance of developing nearsightedness. Smoking can also exacerbate myopia progression in individuals who already have the condition. It does so because it causes oxidative stress. The latter can damage the delicate eye tissues and lead to myopia progression.
For more information on myopia progression, visit Grand Eye Care at our office in River Grove, Illinois. Please call (708) 816-2020 to discuss any questions with our team of experts or to schedule an appointment today.