On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, Jane Gwiazda, Professor at New England College of Optometry, will present, “Light as a Potential Treatment for Myopia in Children.”
Abstract: Research shows that myopic children and those who later become myopic spend fewer hours in outdoor activity than their non-myopic counterparts. It appears that the relevant factor is the light intensity found outdoors rather than the activity. A related finding is that the progression of myopia in the summer, when children are more likely to be outdoors in sunlight, is half that found during the winter. Results from animal models show that high intensity light slows eye growth and the development of myopia. All these results, taken together, suggest that light may be useful as a treatment for myopia. A small clinical trial reported slowed progression of myopia in children randomized to more vs. less time outdoors. The mechanism whereby light slows eye growth is not known, but may involve dopamine, vitamin D, and/or pupillary constriction with an increased depth of focus. If future studies show that exposure to high light intensity or particular wavelengths of light slows the progression of myopia in children, this could be a simple, cost-effective method of treating myopia.