Reuters (6/30, McCook) reports that, according to a review published online June 20 in the journal Ophthalmology, people with myopia are have a 90% increased risk for developing open-angle glaucoma, with those have severe myopia have an even greater risk. For that reason, experts suggest that people with severe nearsightedness undergo frequent eye exams. Eye experts already suggest that adults over 40 be screened for glaucoma regularly, with blacks being screened earlier and more often due to their higher risk for the sight-robbing condition. The US Preventive Services Task Force, however, points out that there is insufficient evidence to recommend such screening.
In an op-ed in the (6/21, A27, Subscription Publication), Sandra Aamodt, a former editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, and Sam Wang, an associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton University, wrote that “the rapid increase in nearsightedness appears to be due to a characteristic of modern life: more and more time spent indoors under artificial lights.” Scientists now “suspect that bright outdoor light helps children’s developing eyes maintain the correct distance between the lens and the retina — which keeps vision in focus. Dim indoor lighting doesn’t seem to provide the same kind of feedback.” Therefore, “when children spend too many hours inside, their eyes fail to grow correctly and the distance between the lens and retina becomes too long, causing far-away objects to look blurry.”