Myopia Guide: The great outdoors?

Claire McDonnell explores the links between myopia development, progression and time spent outdoors

One of the earliest and most cited studies into the association between time spent outdoors and myopia development is from 2007. This was a retrospective study that examined data previously collected from 514 children in the Orinda Longitudinal Study of Myopia. The authors of this study concluded that more time spent outdoors decreased a child’s likelihood of becoming myopic1.

Since then, there have been enough studies on this topic to generate several systematic reviews. In 2022, an overview of seven systematic reviews investigating the relationship between time outdoors and myopia development and progression was published2.

In this overview, the authors concluded that time spent outdoors did appear to help prevent the onset of myopia, but that it did not appear to slow its progression once established. The authors do note, however, that all seven reviews had serious flaws and that five of the reviews had a high risk of bias.

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