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The Nearsightedness Epidemic



While not the kind of epidemic you're used to hearing about, nearsightedness is becoming a major health issue in many places. Learn about how scientists are finding out the reasons behind the increase in myopia, and how sunlight might be an important component.

Hosted by: Michael Aranda
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Sources:
http://www.nature.com/nature/ebooks/summer-books/nature-summer-reads.pdf (pp 18-20)
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/08/446876198/firstborns-may-be-more-nearsighted-and-parents-may-be-why
http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/02/05/383765377/why-is-nearsightedness-skyrocketing-among-chinese-youth
http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=420394
http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2448580
http://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(14)01196-8/abstract
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2441261
https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/10597/1/French_TimeOutdoors2013.pdf
http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2126968
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127863
http://www.popsci.com/why-are-so-many-people-nearsighted
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/11/16/scientists-hope-to-curb-the-nearsightedness-epidemic-with-eye-drops/


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Автор Dink mtz ( назад)
I know it's a very small test sample but all of my sister's kids are nearsighted and have been wearing glasses since like kindergarten or younger. One got them a little older. Since they could walk they've been playing outdoor sports. We grew up latch key kids in the age before Internet, so we spent our childhoods outside, all three of us are nearsighted. My dad is nearsighted (he grew up in the desert states of Mexico), my mom used to have normal vision. I think my dad was the only one in his family to need glasses. I wonder if after so many generations, your genes just say eff it?

Автор glenisterm ( назад)
Fluorescent lights in schools?

Автор neilbrylle malunes ( назад)
I'm nearsighted too, and i hate going outside xD but I wanna know this guy's name. :)

Автор Richard Chassereau ( назад)
If the answer is sunlight, then perhaps schools could add large skylights to classrooms, with window tinting to control to the intensity.

Автор DaxXx988 ( назад)
isn't it obvious that the big cause are all the modern devices and screens we have around?

Автор Germanzer ( назад)
why does this guy always sound like he's loudly whispering.

Автор Mikeey Kimber aka 85 ( назад)
False lighting/fluorescent lighting, the fact we are don't use long sight for much most everything is right there within reach... Nearsightedness epidemics could be because we just don't use sight beyond reach. Phones close to our face, tablets close to our face, text books close to our face...Humans are devolving because everything is too convenient. We don't work for anything anymore. We don't need to see long distances because everything is pretty much in reach. Im the oldest. perfect 20/20 vision and I have excellent sight in low light conditions, my ears ring a lot but I can hear an old tube television when it's turned on (it makes a high pitched ringing as well).... Again we are devolving due to convenience.... The machines are getting smarter. Soon humans will just be an inconvenience. End of program end of story.

Автор Pinche wey ( назад)
i was outside a lot a child and my wife hasn't...i have perfect vision. she hasn't.

Автор Julian Lakay ( назад)
Spot on, i've been trying to get more and regular sunlight without sunglasses over the last few years. It's been the first time my eyesight hasn't gotten worse.

Автор Shetasen ( назад)
yay! treat your vit D deficiency and your eyes!

Автор 10splayerluv ( назад)
Interesting that researchers drew a link between low sunlight exposure in southeast asian countries and education. Perhaps true, but in many of these countries, having light or fair skin is considered beautiful and desirable. Could also be a factor.

Автор Evan Ulven ( назад)
Exposing kids to sunlight would mean they're not all but chained to desks doing meaningless make work and being good little quiet drones. Letting them outside might also cause recess to occur, and we certainly can't have that nowadays. How could they reach the completely arbitrary test score thresholds or get into Harvard at 16 if they waste time outdoors?

There must be a better theory than this heretical light-dopamine monstrosity. In fact, isn't dopamine a drug? You think our kids need to be on drugs other than ritalin? How dare you!

Автор Lexi Schmitz ( назад)
Nobody in my family is nearsighted, besides me and my oldest sister.

Автор Victor Ibarra ( назад)
is this video sped up?

Автор rein duhr ( назад)
The ringing bell in the background is annoying!

Автор Shinta Himura ( назад)
My great grandma always told me: children who don't sleep on time and don't wake up early have more chance on bad eyesight.

Автор Mallory Fry ( назад)
That actually makes sense with the pale spindly nerd stereotype of people with glasses

Автор Spiral Python ( назад)
It would be interesting to look at incidence of myopia amongst the Amish, with there very outdoor lifestyle.

Автор ElementalFX ( назад)
No way sports. Yuck! But go hiking! Go biking; climb a mountain or something! Spend time outside doing something fun and exhilarating. That is my recommendation. As an indoor nerd/geek, I hate exercise and sports, but I *loooove* hiking, camping, and mountain climbing. I live for the outdoors, and consider myself one of the top-level pro hikers and wilderness navigators. Spending time outside is so much more fun when you're doing something that you enjoy doing. That way, you can get all the sun exposure you need. ;)

Автор Kevin Llanera ( назад)
Yeah sunlight is free, but that doesn't matter if you live in Ireland.

Автор Bobby Harper ( назад)
Every time outsiders come into our village these nearsightedness episodes begin.

Автор xtin77 ( назад)
What about adults with myopia? Does going out more in the sunlight have any beneficial qualities now that my eyes have stopped developing in my adolescent years?

Автор Tobori ( назад)
How many people are going to show this to toeir parents so they stop telling you video games are bad for your eyes

Автор eustagoesout ( назад)
educate your sight

Автор Beelzebub The One True Demon King Of Kittens ( назад)
kek, anything longer than my arm?, try everything longer than my nose is blurry

Автор halfrightface ( назад)
This was published in Dec. 2015. Pokemon Go was released in summer 2016. This is not a coincidence.

Автор Linden Bree ( назад)
So I wonder if wearing sunglasses would counteract the benefits for your eyes. And why does it have to be sunlight, I'm guessing ramping up a screen's brightness to obnoxious levels wouldn't have the same effect?
In any case, wow, I'm part of the last generation that can remember the world before the internet went mainstream. I played outside as a little kid and I hated how, when I was an older child, my parents kept making me play sports.
Seems this wasn't so bad after all, I'm now an adult hermit who never goes outside, but my eyes are fine. Probably because a lot of my childhood was spent outdoors

Автор Brock Neilon ( назад)
So if a computer or TV screen that produces a more natural light could be a good thing?

Автор Christina Walker ( назад)
im far sighted :///

Автор Ellie Lawrence ( назад)
We call it short sighted in England

Автор Alex Hutchins ( назад)
i have worse eyes than most people out therea corective lens of 5 and 7

Автор jay fawn ( назад)
So are you saying farsightedness is results of too much sunlight??

Автор Dustin M ( назад)
if sunlight prevents near sightedness then i should have terrible vision but my vision is fine... well fine in the sense that its all i ever seen and that i can read fine but other then my own judgement i dont actually know how good my vision is because i never had my eyes checked

Автор Jamie Wilson ( назад)
Here's what I'd like to know: can sunlight help those of us who are already nearsighted stop from becoming more nearsighted?

Автор Ray medamiedo ( назад)
Nope sorry, I didn't chose to be myopic... that's how I was born... Lady Gaga told me so... Nearsightedphobic much!

Автор Ashley Lunsford ( назад)
So I'm nearsighted and didn't need glasses till high school my childhood I was outside a lot but also was a dancer for 10 years and I'm also the first child and both my parents don't need glasses. I also went from public school to home school in high school right at the time I got my glasses

Автор Hr Gwea ( назад)
What about the opposite condition, far-sightedness?
What may be causing that?

Автор xtaylorxboyx ( назад)
Who else just focuses on his goatee when he's talking it wiggles so much lol

Автор π_Rol ( назад)
Ever since I was a kid I've never been able to stand sunlight. At first I developed farsightedness and I didn't become nearsighted until I began to dedicatedly draw at around age 13.
Despite still using glasses, sunlight simply gives me bad headaches.

Автор Nathan Zheng ( назад)
This is one of the best episodes I ever watched thank you!

Автор MeanMrMustard1 ( назад)
Whoever thought a guy who looks like a greaser out of the 50s would be so nerdy?

Автор Brian Lampkin ( назад)
No1 thought maybe diet has something to do with this? Or am I tripping to think maybe GMO's or shitty foods in general are a cause for this increase?

Автор Adinda Ningtyas ( назад)
Im the youngest child and yet only me and my twin are myopic. I spend a lot of time outside and while i get excellent grades . I don't study often. These reasons don't apply to me.

Автор Franky Joe ( назад)
I always thought it was because everyone stares at screens these days

Автор hitchpster ( назад)
I read "NERDsightedness"

Автор emilieloveskiwi ( назад)
I'm a first born and I'm the only one in my family that doesn't need glasses. My partners, brother, aunts, uncles, and all my cousins except for one all have glasses. I feel like I've dodged a bullet! Haha! I'm sure one day I'll probably need them though, but from what I read, the longer you go without needing them, the less likely you are to ever need them, and I'm 23 already! I'd say I'm doing pretty good!

Автор Jack Criscione ( назад)
I was told my retina could detach by my ophthalmologist

Автор Sergio Ruelas ( назад)
I played in park teams for baseball and soccer most of my youth 10+ years, yet I still have near sightedness. What the shit lol. I started at a later age around 8 however. So maybe in your infant years, sunlight exposure and nearsightedness improvement is more prevalent.

Автор musicalturtle1 ( назад)
So what's weird about this dopamine/sunlight hypothesis is that I had 20/20 vision until junior high, when I started getting less sleep and spending a lot less time outdoors because of school. Curiously, I was diagnosed with ADHD a few years later, which is also related to dopamine. Could just be coincidence, but it would be interesting if there was a way to test if there's any connection there

Автор azaquihel ( назад)
reading is damaging to our eyes

Автор david doroteo ( назад)
It because of vaccines.
To damage our genetics.

Автор Aesthetic ( назад)
This explains SO much. when i was a kid i used to go outside daily for HOURS and i had perfect 20/20 vision but as i got older school work started piling up, stress was growing and i started staying inside my house more often and now i wear glasses

Автор mechadense ( назад)
If there where better sun-readable reflective displays (crisp like e-ink but colored and with framerates sufficient for video playback) then maybe people would be outside more.

Автор mechadense ( назад)
Interesting. But is it the UV part of sunlight that would get filtered out by protective sunglasses or the brightness of sunlight alone? I enjoy self darkening optical glasses. It's rellay convenient when your eyes never hurt after a day of bright summer light. But is that actually a bad choice?


Автор Cms2001 ( назад)
I spent plenty of time outside and I'm still super blind

Автор Leo B ( назад)
Obviously near-work (reading,smartphone etc) and lack of exposure to sunlight are directly correlated to each other, incredible you didn't even mention this

Автор Ekaterina Naumenko ( назад)
Well, I figured out what to do outside - I listen to audiobooks and music. I don't know if this can help my eyesight - I'm already an adult, but my headaches have gone O_O. Thanks, SciShow:)

Автор Peter Peter ( назад)
I am stupid and a bum living on the streets yet I can't see pass my nose. WTH

Автор Ramkakh ( назад)
So the people in Finland is blind?

Автор What Up Its Shanaenae ( назад)
I always wondered why I am near sighted but now I know thanks to this channel

Автор Maximilian Wicén ( назад)
I wonder if there's a negative correlation between myopia and different eye conditions like cataract

Автор Anku Jb ( назад)
fly kite to avoid myopia

Автор Anku Jb ( назад)
CRT monitor, GTA san Andreas , NFS most wanted playing all night caused myopia

Автор AntiqueUnicorn ( назад)
I recently needed glasses since taking up science at university. more hours indoors. here's hoping I can reverse the damage!

Автор Darshan Sarwade ( назад)
there is something we do in India called Surya Namaskar its a part of yoga

Автор Bianca G ( назад)
But wouldn't that mean that in Northern countries where sunlight decreases a lot during Winter we would expect to see a lot more nearsightedness? Is that the case?
Also, if dopamine is involved, people with certain mental health disorders or learning disabilities should show a higher incidence of myopia as well, right?

Автор Matty McGoo ( назад)
is there a follow up to this?

Автор KittyXD ( назад)
Just invent some eye drops that allow people with myopia,to see normally.

Автор ASM Kalrizion ( назад)
Possibly have some input since my friend is near sighted. Sitting in a dark room staring at a bright screen for elongated periods of time with either lack of sleep or an irregular sleeping schedule such as sleeping from 3pm to 10pm instead of 10pm to 7am

Автор Madison Hall ( назад)
Well, I spent my entire childhood playing outside, and I still can't see clearly past the end of my arm without my glasses.

Автор beccabunny09 ( назад)
I can't believe you didn't mention the most obvious reason about why parents didn't send their kids outside in Guangzhou province: it's one of the most heavily polluted environments on the planet. They didn't send they kid outside because they *love* their child and didn't want them to have a asthma attack or stroke both common for the area. This is sure to become a bigger American problem as the new tump administration finds new ways to rape the EPA of its funding.

Автор Feona Johnson ( назад)
so....nerds do wear glasses

Автор montork ( назад)
excersize is good for them anyway..

Автор Melinda H ( назад)
Well I'm gonna go outside and hope it cures me because contacts and yearly eye appointments are expensive

Автор ZDoubleXZ ( назад)
If you need glasses and your mom won't let you get on get a glass cup and put it in front of your eyes

Автор Mario Paul ( назад)
Goodbye youtube

Автор Yo Lo ( назад)
This doesn't make sense I live in Alaska. Everyday as a kid I would wake up early go outside till 10 or 11 ( which is when sun sets). The sun is out constantly yet I can see less than a foot in front of me without glasses. I also have a twin and he is a lot more active than me yet has worse vision. These stats aren't adding up to my family. In fact, they are backwards.

Автор iiMuffinsaur ( назад)
I'm nearsighted. Very nearsighted. Its blurry like a foot away.

Автор ThatOneGirl Deanne ( назад)
I both agree and disagree with the sunlight thing. See, I have two brothers, one older and one younger. Me and my younger brother wear glasses, with me having a higher eye grade than him. The fact that my elder brother doesn't wear glasses disagree with the firstborns having higher chances of nearsightedness. I understand that my elder brother doesn't need glasses since he liked staying outdoors when we were kids but the contradiction here is that my younger brother likes going outdoors as well. I have no qualms about myself having higher myopia since I disliked going outdoors since I can't do anything strenous to my body. But it bothers me that my younger brother's eye grade further increased when he got into highschool when he started getting even more chances of going outside since he took a passion for outdoor basketball. It's a nice theory but there are certainly flaws in it.

Автор Frikiman ( назад)
You know, it's probably not such a good solution to tell Chinese kids to go outside. I mean, with all the pollution and that.

Автор Jon Walker ( назад)
Hank should've hosted this because he has glasses lol

Автор Ellie Griesemer ( назад)
Here's a fact:
I'm 14, first born, and have been near-sighted since I was 5, and as of today my eyesight is getting significantly worse. My parents are not nearsighted, and I have sensitive blue eyes, so I don't tolerate light as well as other people. I also live in America.

I'm just a tad bit concerned about your research

Автор Isabella Ybarra ( назад)
I'm a middle child, with far sighted parents, play an outdoor sport, get a middle class education, and got glasses in the 1st grade...SO WHY AM I SO NEAR SIGHTED?! 😂😂

Автор Dutch Netherlands ( назад)
Everyone look up the "Bates method" it's good stuff.

Автор Sarah Farron ( назад)
I can't see a thing without glasses i dunno if education is the problem i didn't study a lot at all but i was an artist drawing outside for hours of course i was outside a lot i also was extremly active :/ so sounds like people who are depressed get there light taken away 😱

Автор spongebob cringepants ( назад)
Michael and Hank are good hosts. Olivia's getting better.

Автор Lance McClain ( назад)
Not only do I have myopia, but I also have astigmatism in both eyes so sunlight probably wont do much for them :/ Damn...

Автор PeppermintGlow ( назад)
So if you don't go out into sunlight, you can go blind. But if you do, you could get skin cancer. But if you don't, you could get depressed from lack of vitamin D. But if you do, you're more likely to develop wrinkles.

Автор MissyAmy88 ( назад)
This sucks for me who lives in the artic where there is no sun in the winter.

Автор john smith ( назад)
I thought prince Philip figured out why East Asian's had poorer eyesight a long time ago, lol.

Автор theinufire ( назад)
I got an ad for prescription glasses on this video, clever Zenni, clever.

Автор Kyrstal Watson ( назад)
Does this guy have shakey hand syndrome?

Автор SPNOUAT ( назад)
My nearsightedness was likely inherited. My Dad has the same issue (he shared most of his skin/eye/teeth issues with me lol - though fortunately to a lesser severity in all cases it seems). I spent a lot of time outdoors in the sun as a kid biking, walking, & generally running around, and despite that I started to notice I was losing my ability to see far in the 5th grade, way before I started spending more time indoors. (Or rather my teachers noticed - preteen me didn't realize why I was having trouble reading what they wrote on the board). So it's very unlikely that sunlight played any role in my case.(I also have dry eyes that get worst as I age - same as my Dad).

Автор Omavektor ( назад)
Why wasn't this knowledge widespread like 20 years ago? Actually, why isn't this common knowledge TODAY? If it's all true, then in Northern latitudes where I live and there's much less sunlight in the winter outside it should be almost mandatory to do outside activities. By the way, it seems that if violet and UV light help to prevent myopia the most, then UV resistant lenses may work against it!
Background: Read a lot of books & stayed inside between the ages of 5 and 15. Sight dropped from 0 to -6 D at the same time, and more or less settled on -7 D for more than a decade. Done prophylactic laser against risk of retinal detachment (still at risk). Parents around -2 and -4 D.

Автор John Doe ( назад)
Wait does this explain why nerds so often need glasses

Автор John Doe ( назад)
Hey I was born with myopic astigmatism it's not due to any other factors

Автор Amit Athi Kesavan ( назад)
So if I go outside more my nearsightedness while be reduced or cured?( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)

Автор Omar 1111 ( назад)
my dad is longsighted and me and my brother are short sighted I have really bad vision I can't see upclose and I got it at the age of 7 I used to go outside alot as a kid but I became short sighted before my brother who is older than me is the sunlight theory real or should I just blame genetics

Автор Fabulous Unnie ( назад)
"So if you want to stop your kids from becoming near sighted, maybe sign them up for soccer." Or just read next to a window that faces the sun during the day if they have social anxiety.

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