Eyes Schooled By Nearsightedness

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A German cohort study found that higher levels of education and more years of schooling is associated with an increasing risk of people being nearsighted and suffer from more severe nearsightedness.

The study included participants of around 4 658 adults between the ages of 35 to 74. They then applied a standardized protocol entailing a comprehensive questionnaire; thorough ophthalmic, general, cardiovascular, and psychological examinations; and laboratory tests, including genetic analyses. They also documented achievement levels in school education and post-school professional education. With the information gathered the study showed that as the level of education increased, so did the prevalence of nearsightedness.

The results of nearsightedness with an increase in years of schooling were as follows: 53% among university graduates, 35% among graduates of secondary vocational schools, and 24% among people with no post-school professional training. The research also found that genetic markers were a much weaker risk factor then education in terms of nearsightedness.

A more recent Danish study found that when people spend more time outside with greater exposure to daylight it is associated with less nearsightedness. Dr Alireza Mirshahi, lead author on the study, encourages students to spend more time outside as a precaution.