The effect of light and outdoor activity in natural lighting on the progression of myopia in children

J Fr Ophtalmol. 2019 Jan;42(1):2-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2018.05.008. Epub 2018 Dec 17.


Purpose: To investigate potential risk factors for the progression of myopia.

Methods: Prospective study. Myopic progression was evaluated by cycloplegic autorefraction and axial length (AL) every 6 months in children 6 to 15 years old. Univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression were applied.

Results: Around 82 children with median age of 10.3±2.3 years. Myopia progressed by -0.816±0.6 D over 18 months. Increased myopic spherical equivalent refraction (SER) was correlated with increase in AL (P<0.001). Univariate analysis found SER to be significantly associated with: age, especially between 6 and 9.4 years old (P=0.001), parental myopia (P=0.028), and less time spent outdoors (P=0.009). There was a significantly greater increase in SER during months with the least daylight hours (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Outdoor activities and daylight have a protective effect against increased AL and progression of myopia. Younger children with significant myopia should be monitored closely, especially those around 6 years old with myopic parents.

Keywords: Activités à l’extérieur; Children; Enfants; Facteurs de risque; Myopia; Myopie; Outdoor activities; Progression; Risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lighting* / adverse effects
  • Lighting* / methods
  • Lighting* / statistics & numerical data
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Myopia / epidemiology
  • Myopia / etiology*
  • Myopia / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sunlight*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Tests