Speed Reads

I can see clearly now

Scientists discover that natural, outdoor light reduces children's risk of nearsightedness

Get off the computer and out the door, say researchers from Ohio State University's College of Optometry. The scientists discovered that about 14 hours of outdoor light exposure per week can reduce a child's risk of developing myopia, or nearsightedness, The Washington Post reports.

"Between the ages of five and nine, a child's eye is still growing," Donald Mutti, the study's lead researcher, said. "Sometimes this growth causes the distance between the lens and the retina to lengthen, leading to nearsightedness. We think these different types of outdoor light may help preserve the proper shape and length of the eye during that growth period."

Researchers are not yet sure exactly what makes outdoor light so special; they said that will be the focus of further study. In the meantime, Mutti says, parents should remember the sunscreen, but get their growing kids out of the house and into the sunshine.