Having exposure to natural light and extra time spent outdoors are key factors to reducing risk of nearsightedness.

A study suggests more exposure to natural light and time spent looking at distant objects are key factors to reducing nearsightedness, presented in the 115th Annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology on Oct. 24.

Dr. Anthony Khawaja of the University of Cambridge in UK presented a summary analysis of eight studies on outdoor time and myopia in children. The study analysis of 10,400 participants found each additional hour spent outdoors per week, risk of myopia dropped by two percent. Also, nearsighted children on average spent 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than those who had normal vision or were farsighted.

"Increasing children's outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health" said Dr. Khawaja.

What is "myopia?"

According to the American Optometric Association, "Myopia" also known as nearsightedness is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Myopia occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature. As a result, the lighting entering the eye isn't focused correctly and distant objects look blurred.

Nearsightedness is very common condition affecting nearly 33 percent, almost one in three Americans are suffers from some degree of nearsightedness, according to American optometric Association.

Current Research

"If we want to make clear recommendations, however, we'll need more precise data. Future, prospective studies will help us understand which factors, such as increased use of distance vision, reduced use of near vision, natural ultra violet light exposure or physical activity, are most important.

Another question, Dr. Khawaja considered is whether boosting outdoor time might stop nearsightedness from getting worse.