Sunlight exposure reduces myopia in children
For a long time, genetic factors have been mentioned as the main cause of myopia. But recently, Prof. Ian Morgan of the Australian National University said in a prominent scientific journal Nature that "myopia spreads like an epidemic in Asian countries because people have not seen enough sunlight". According to the research team, it is estimated that 90% of today's children are nearsighted, compared with 10-20% of youth in East Asia 60 years ago and the increase in myopia seems too rapid for only genetic reasons. In line with this, the Chinese government recently issued a "management and action plan for preventing myopia of children and adolescents," including encouragement of the appropriate use of lighting and outdoor activities. It is interpreted as a policy that takes into account the negative effects on vision by the use of inadequate artificial light that emits excessive blue light.

Fig. 1 Estimated myopia prevalence in 20-years-olds in East Asian countries 
How can sunlight help maintain vision?
Scientists explain it as an action of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Exposure to sunlight spectrum increases the amount of dopamine in the eye, which inhibits its growth and leads to proper eye development. As a result, the eyeballs of children who do not see enough sunlight grow excessively and become myopia. So, experts advise that getting plenty of sunlight can help prevent myopia.

Fig. 2 Myopia induced by eye overgrowth
A-Young Lee Ph.D 
Head of Our Healthcare Committee 

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