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Scientists Were Wrong – Staring At The Computer Screen Or Watching TV Does Not Cause Shortsightedness

TV Watching Myopia Study

Even though the scientist believe that spending too much time behind a computer screen or watching TV can cause shortsightedness, or myopia, recent study shows that there was is no link between bad eyesight and teenagers who spend hours watching TV or playing computer games.

The Ohio State University in the United States has done a research on 4500 children between the ages of six and eleven over the last twenty years, testing their eyes and observing their screen use.

Researchers looked at 13 risk factors for shortsightedness in order to determine the greatest factor that could lead to myopia. They found that the biggest factor was the level of refractive error at the age of six.

People with normal vision have normal eyeballs that grow with the rest of the body and are programmed to stop growing at a certain point preserving clear vision, but in people with myopia, the eyeballs stretch and become the shape of an olive or grape.

The study showed that youngsters with less farsightedness are likely to develop myopia sooner. Children who spend a lot of time outdoors have lesser chance of developing myopia, but what is causing this protective effect is still unknown.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Professor Zadnik”]

If you become near-sighted it is because your eyeball has grown too long.


The scientists said that near work – such as reading, sitting behind a computer screen or watching TV was tested as a potential risk factor for myopia and the results show that the 100 years long belief has no solid ground.

The study began in California in 1989 and it widened in 1990 adding more ethnic diversity into the groups. The latest inquiry was based on sample equally split by sex and among the following ethnicities:

  • 36.2% white
  • 22.2% Hispanic
  • 16.2% African American
  • 13.7% Asian American
  • 1.6% Native American

Another risk factor that was predictive is that children whose parents have myopia are more likely to develop the shortsightedness due to the fact that parents had their kids tested. Professor Zadnik urges and calls for more pre-school testing of kids vision and says that refractive error would be important thing to report and could help kids pay more attention and focus during the classes.

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