Every year of education increases risk for nearsightedness. A new study found strong evidence that claims that spending more of your life studying could raise your risk for short-sightedness.
This study used a genetic technique called Mendelian randomization in order to produce meaningful evidence of cause and effect. The study was published Wednesday in The BMJ which reopens an unseen health risk of higher schooling.
Researchers Professor Guggenheim and colleagues used publicly available genetic data on 67,798 men and women in England, Scotland and Wales.
They looked at many specific genetic markers associated with a short-sightedness and the genetic predisposition with time spent in education.
As a result, they found that each year in school was linked with a decrease of 0.27 dioptres – A dioptre is a unit of measure of the power in a lens, and its positive or negative value determines the refractive power of the lens. That means the years of education were strongly associated with the condition.
Dr. Denize Atan, the lead author of the study who is a consultant senior lecturer in ophthalmology at the University of Bristol, suggested that to address this mechanism schools in Asia have started using natural daylight that simulated “bright lights” in classrooms.
“Clues from other studies suggest that children who spend more time outside are protected from the onset and progression of myopia,” Denize said. “One recent study found that just 11 hours a week of daylight exposure seemed to be enough to slow onset and progression.”
Sarah Buscaino is a seasoned journalist with 10 years experience as a reporter and investigative journalist. While studying journalism in Toronto, Sarah got her break as an intern at CITY TV. As a contributor to Island Daily Tribune, Sara covers municipal and provincial politics.