Rates of nearsightedness, or myopia, have been exploding since the mid-1900s, especially in Asian countries, where myopia affects as much as 95% of the population in certain demographics. In trying to explain the effect, researchers have speculated that too much time spent looking at screens, books, or other objects held close to the eyes could lead to the stretching of the eyeball that causes the condition. However, new research shows that the only environmental factor that seems to prevent myopia is spending more time outdoors, Nature News reports. Researchers don't know exactly why being outdoors helps, but one idea is that exposure to bright light helps the eyeball stay round.
Read our COVID-19 research and news.