SCOTLAND - A new study might just have you rolling your eyes. Optical Express in Scotland found that nearsightedness in kids in Britain has doubled over the last 50 years. Researchers blame it on children spending too much of their time with handheld devices.
The study also concludes kids spending time outdoors playing and looking at stuff farther away than an arm's length is essential to developing their full range of vision.
Houston therapeutic optometrist Dr. Allan Panzer says this study looks a little fuzzy to him, "I guess my problem with that is handheld devices haven't been around for 50 years. I'm very nearsighted, and I played outside all my life and never looked at (any) handheld device."
He points out people have been studying the link between nearpoint stress (caused by looking at things close to your face) and nearsightedness for years but have never found definitive proof. "Parents continue to come in and beg me to tell their children they can't play on their computers," says Panzer, "and sometimes they're children who aren't nearsighted, and sometimes they're children who are."
Panzer says he has not seen any general increase in myopia in the young population since handheld devices became popular. "I see an increase in children whose parents are nearsighted," he says with a grin.
So blame your DNA, not your S4. Seems when it comes to nearsightedness, there's more to it than meets the eye.