Improve eyesight in children by sending them outdoors rather than leave them to spend too much time indoors on their games consoles or in front of the TV. "Your mother was doing the right thing when she said, 'Go outside and play,'" says Earl Smith, dean of the College of Optometry at the University of Houston. Eye experts like Smith increasingly believe that time spent outdoors could reduce the likelihood that children will develop myopia , or short-sightedness, a condition in which distance vision is blurred. At the very least, more time spent outdoors by children could limit the rate at which their myopia develops and this benefit can be reinforced by using ortho-k corrective contact lenses which are only worn at night when the child is asleep.
Myopia is on the rise around the world and in Americans ages 12 to 54 a recent study found that the prevalence of myopia increased by two-thirds between 1970 and 2000. Though myopia has a strong genetic component, this alone cannot explain these increases. "It's not all your family history, it's not all your outside time, it's not all your near work," says Susan Vitale, a research epidemiologist at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. "All those things work together in a complicated way that we don't really understand yet." However, it seems clear that less near vision screen-based activities indoors and more time spent outdoors can help improve eyesight in children.
Recent studies such as that from 2008 reported in the journal ‘Ophthalmology' found that 12-year-olds who spent more than 2.8 hours outside per day on average were less likely to have myopia than those who spent less time outside. However, given the increased likelihood of children developing short-sightedness , the availability of ortho-k corrective contact lenses which have been shown in a number of clinical studies to halt the progression of childhood myopia provides parents with a ready-made solution to improve eyesight . As Christine Wildsoet, an expert on short-sightedness at University of California at Berkeley says: "all of the [orthokeratology] studies so far have shown very positive benefits".
Check if your child is suitable for ortho-k corrective contact lenses .