Reading all the time will make myopia worse

Preventing myopia: what helps?

Status: 06/12/2018 10:19 a.m. | archive
Myopia is the most common eye disease worldwide and it is increasing.

Those who cannot see objects that are far away are short-sighted. Nowadays, more and more children develop nearsightedness (myopia). This development can be recorded worldwide, but particularly extreme in countries where children read a lot and at an early age. Myopia also occurs more and more frequently with increasing levels of education: For example, one in four young adults without a high school diploma or vocational school qualification is nearsighted, with one in three with a high school diploma or one in three and even every second among university graduates.

Even if there is a hereditary predisposition, hardly anyone is born nearsighted. Myopia usually only occurs from the age of seven to eight or at the beginning of puberty. At birth, our eyeball is a little too short and therefore slightly farsighted. Then it grows until it is ideally round and well adjusted to all areas of vision. The eye can see well both near and far because the lens adjusts to the distance as required.

Looking into the distance: eyes rest

One theory of the development of nearsightedness is that children look too much nearby as they grow, for example when reading books or on smartphones, and the eye adapts to this requirement. The eyeball grows in length when the eye focuses too closely in order to protect the eye muscles.

But that doesn't mean you should read less. Rather, it is important to take breaks in which the eyes can rest with a look into the distance. The timely correction of myopia with glasses can also counteract the progression of myopia.

Sufficient daylight is important against myopia

But daylight also seems to play an important role: children who spend a lot of time outdoors suffer less from myopia. Daylight is many times brighter than interior lighting. For healthy development, the eyes need both the alternation of near and far and sufficient daylight.

Once the eyeball is too long, it stays that way for the rest of life and the sharp image lies in front of the retina. This error can be compensated for with an additional lens, i.e. glasses or contact lenses, or an operation. To keep myopia from getting worse, people should go outside more often, let their gaze wander, and spend at least two hours a day outdoors in daylight. Myopia can otherwise increase up to around the age of 30.

And the stronger the myopia, the greater the risk of secondary diseases such as retinal detachment. Incidentally, this also applies to people who have their myopia operated on, for example with a laser. These interventions only change the refractive power of the lens, they do not change the length of the eyeball.

Healthy food for healthy eyes

Proper nutrition supports good vision. What does that mean? Which foods help protect the eyes? Visit with practical tips. more

Experts on the subject

Dr. Peter P. Kaupke
Drs. Kaupke, Miebach, Görges, Ehrich & Partner
Auguste-Baur-Strasse 1
22587 Hamburg
(040) 86 64 32 30

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Frank Schaeffel
Head of Section for Neurobiology of the Eye
Research Institute for Ophthalmology
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Calwerstraße 7/1
72076 Tuebingen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Wiegand
Department of Ophthalmology
Asklepios Clinic North - Heidberg
Tangstedter Landstrasse 400
22417 Hamburg
(040) 18 18 87 34 55

This topic in the program:

Visit | 06/12/2018 | 8:15 pm