I am a back-bencher ever since I started sitting on benches i.e. started schooling. Not much of a study enthusiast, I preferred to sit as far as possible from the teacher, keeping safe distance from the danger was always a good strategy! Blackboard was not much clear but over time it started blurring more & more. I could not figure out the writings on the wall. Dad decided to take me to an optician.
Upon inspection optician declared that I have sever Myopia in both eyes so I have to wear glasses. So I did and suddenly world around me turned so clear & colourful. But there was a downside too; I had to carry it around all the time like one would a mobile phone nowadays. And I could not enjoy the monsoon rains anymore.
Myopia (Short Sight)
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is a very common eye condition in which a person cannot see distant objects clearly. This condition is quite common affecting up to 30% population and is becoming more common with the passage of time.
Born with Nose Rider
And for me, though a great convenience for the vision, it was a shock that I have to wear glasses throughout my life. Was there a cure? There were many advices readily available such eating carrots, walking bare-foot on grass, standing upside down and trying to identify who is standing on the roof three houses away! Though all these efforts brought few supplementary benefits but glasses remained on my ears & nose as a universal truth (I know we use glasses for eyes but these are worn on the ears & nose, agree?). So much so I began to believe I was born with them.
Why Myopia is so common, especially in children is an interesting topic for scientists. It usually starts at early age around puberty. Its causes are not clear but it runs in some families as well as associated with people focusing more on near objects such as books and computers; but this is not proven; especially for me as both my father, grandfather had near-perfect vision!
Go out, See Far
A study conducted in University of Cambridge on 10,000 kids identified that for each additional hour spent outside per week, the risk of myopia reduced by 2%. Exposure to natural light and time spent looking at distant objects could be key factors in reducing short-sightedness.
On the contrary we confine our children indoors most of the time so they are deprived of natural sunlight as well do not get the chance to focus on far-distant objects.
Exposure to sunlight brings another much-sought benefit – production of Vitamin D which is required for healthy immune system, brain & healthier bones. Sunshine is the major source of vitamin D; this is the reason people, like me, living in cold countries lack this vital substance.
Children eyes get confused indoor as light is not as varied (colour wise) and strong as outside natural one.
Wear if You Need to
“A common misconception is that glasses are making things worse – but the answer to that question is No,” says Flitcroft from Children’s University Hospital, Dublin. It is better to wear glasses if you need one so the eyes could see things clearly! Going without glasses will give bad vision; strain on eyes and probably a headache.
Get Out & Play
So in conclusion kids (& parents); let’s get out and enjoy –
“Left to their natural, outdoors environment, humans don’t become myopic,” says Flitcroft. “Encouraging children to spend time outdoors can only be good.”