Nearsightedness Caused By Sunlight Deficiency

child in sunlight

Is The Nearsightedness Epidemic Over?

We are in the midst of a light epidemic and you probably don’t even know it.  There is an overabundance of ultraviolet light (UV) and blue light (screens) and a deficiency in red and near infrared light.  We are also in the midst of a nearsightedness or myopia epidemic.  Up to a third of the world’s population by some estimates.  The cause is most likely light deficiency.  Specifically red and near infrared light deficiency.

Most of you have probably heard that it’s bookworms that get near sighted.  You know….the heavy readers.  This theory has been around a long time and it suggest that reading close up slowly changes the eyes.  It turns out this isn’t the case.

It is true however, that research has shown that there is a strong association between education levels and myopia.  What has now become crystal clear though is that this is a correlation, not a cause necessarily.

If you stop and think about it, the other thing that happens if you read and study a lot is that you spend time indoors.  Out of sunlight.

Natural Light is the Key

In a Nature article titled The Myopia Boom, they had this to say on outdoor light time.  “Based on epidemiological studies, Ian Morgan, a myopia researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, estimates that children need to spend around three hours per day under light levels of at least 10,000 lux to be protected against myopia.”

child in sunlight

This was back in 2015.  However, they didn’t really extrapolate on the mechanism.  Just that more time in sunlight was beneficial in preventing myopia.

So what is the actual mechanism?

Three recent studies from 2021 and 2022 shed some further “light” on the likely mechanisms.

Nearsightedness Study #1

The study titled Effect of Repeated Low-Level Red-Light Therapy for Myopia Control in Children found that 69.4% slowing of axial elongation and 76.6% slowing of myopic refraction progression.  With nearsightedness the eye ball elongates, so if you can reduce this good things happen.  The refraction is the strength of the glasses you would need.  These are huge results showing how red light therapy can slow the deterioration of the eyes.

Nearsightedness Study #2

This 2021 study, Orthokeratology and Low-Intensity Laser Therapy for Slowing the Progression of Myopia in Children, also showed the benefits to red light therapy.  It was looking to see if the red light would work as well as orthokeratology (wearing a contact lens to flatten the eye).  They found that the LLLT worked better than the orthokeratology to control axial elongation and slow myopia progression.  LLLT is also known as red light therapy or photobiomodulation.

Nearsightedness Study #3

The final study from 2022, Low-intensity, long-wavelength red light slows the progression of myopia in children: an Eastern China-based cohort, had similar results.  They “underwent LLRT treatment (power 0.4 mW, wavelength 635 nm) twice per day for 3 min each session, with at least a 4-h interval between sessions, and a control group of 56 myopic children.”  They concluded that “repetitive exposure to LLRT therapy (photobiomodulation) was associated with slower myopia progression and reduced axial growth after short durations of treatment.”

So, it would appear, that red light therapy prevents the progression of myopia.

As with all new research there are limitations and more research needs to be done but intuitively this makes sense.

Take Home

Spend time outdoors.  Children ideally need to spend approximately 3 hours outdoors per day to prevent myopia.

Alternatives

You can get your red light at home with photobiomodulation devices.  However, you should seek advice from your health professional to ensure you are working within safe parameters.  We are not offering medical advice or advocating irresponsible application of red light therapy or photobiomodulation.

The two general ways you can get red light therapy at home are the following.

Incandescent Lamps

Incandescent lamps such as TheraBulb provide red and near infrared light similar to what the sun provides.  They have a full spectrum wavelength profile that includes red light and some heat.  These can be used in a sauna or as a single lamp.  Saunas should not be used for children under 6. Children should always be supervised around these lamps as they are a burn risk.

LED Lamps

These simple lamps are becoming increasingly popular.  You can purchase inexpensive lamps such as hand held units or more expensive panels.  They are simple to use and quite safe.  Staring directly into them is not advised due to the brightness of them.

hand held LED lamp

Myopia or nearsightedness is an ever-increasing problem.  Recent research in the photobiomodulation field is progressively showing that red light, and probably other wavelengths, have a protective effect on the eye. It slows and prevents the progression of myopia in children.  It is not clear if this light will reverse the problem.

Summary

Light deficiency appears to be the cause of nearsightedness.  I have been talking about light deficiency for years and firmly believe the public needs to be made more aware of it.  As humans we need to spend time outside.  We need to witness the sunrise. We should walk and play more.  Try to work outside when we can.  The benefits are becoming increasingly clear and now it seems that our vision might depend on it.

While this blog focuses on children there are many other reasons for us older folk should use red light therapy and photobiomodulation for our eyes.  Research shows it can help with dry eyes, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, optic nerve injury and other conditions.

 

For more information visit www.lifestyleintegration.com.au or for here for everything about near infrared saunas

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

 

Start Here

For most of us it’s like a switch gets thrown and at some very distinct moment in time we become aware of our health, or loss of it, and its importance.

If you’ve clicked through this far, please continue to have a quick read to see how we can help you reclaim your health and well-being. We think you will find this very logical, practical and something you will want to understand better and implement in your life.

In short, we can help with two related but different pathways.

1.Purchase a product if you feel it will help with your challenge.
2.Start with a hair mineral analysis

For most men we suggest the hair mineral analysis

One reason is we need objective data. Blood tests are great, but they don’t measure what is going on in the tissues and it’s in the tissues where you are having your problems!

Here is the link again and we strongly suggest you give it a read.

Once you have read that, and if you still aren’t sure, have a look at this.

Should you order the hair mineral analysis, when the results come back to us from the lab, we will email you these, along with a comprehensive interpretive report and some computer generated suggestions on supplements.

When you get the results, you will also have the options of setting up a personal consultation where we will help you design a personalised lifestyle and wellness plan to help you reach your specific goals.

On a final note.

As you know at Lifestyle Integration we provide natural solutions for stress and lifestyle-based health issues for men over 50.

Choosing a practitioner to assist with your health care can be difficult. Here are some reasons you may wish to work with Lifestyle Integration

Experience. We’ve been helping people with their nutritional balancing programs for over 11 years as of 2021. This means we are likely to have experience with your challenges.

Background. Dr Todd Lizon has been a registered chiropractor since 1999. This intensive FORMAL training ensures we understand your problems physiologically at a very deep level. Please note that medical advice will not be offered as this is not in our scope of practice.

Paradigm. The chiropractic paradigm in how health is viewed is different to many others. We look at root causes and don’t just address the symptom. This is healing at a deeper more complete level.

Value. Experience and knowledge helps us get to the root causes and solutions quickly and efficiently saving you time, money and energy.

The Sitting And Rising Test Can Help Determine Longevity

sitting rising logevity test

How Long Will You Live?

We are living longer.  Unfortunately, what can sadly be missing with this gift of longevity is a high quality of life.  The ability to fully enjoy our time walking this Earth.  Studies have unequivocally shown that a lower level of fitness is predictive of a higher risk for all cause mortality in middle aged people.  Fortunately, there are tests that can give us indicators as to whether our longevity will be a blessing or a curse.

Over the last number of years a few screening tests have been developed that give us an idea if we will age gracefully and be able to enjoy a high quality of life.

First, a disclosure.  As with any test there are limitations.  These are indicators only and not guarantees.  Injuries, disabilities and other factors can all influence performance on these.  If you do not score well on any of these tests do not automatically assume that you will not age well.  However, you may wish to work on your overall fitness and health to build as much of a base as you can.

Sitting Rising Test

The first test is called the sit to stand or sitting rising test.

This test was first published in 2012 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention. Simply put it’s an assessment of your ability to sit down and then stand up unaided. You can view the test HERE

The reason the sit to stand test is predictive of quality of life and longevity is because to do it you need a high level of strength, flexibility and balance.  The authors state a high score can “reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses lying under the bed or table.”

It also “likely indicates a reduced risk of falls”.  As we know falls are a major risk as we age.

In brief, they found that over the study period 159 people died.  Of these deaths the majority were in people who scored low on the test.  Only two of the deaths were in people who scored 10/10 on the sitting rising test.  You can read the study here. Sit to Stand Test

Push-up Test

In 2019 a study called the “Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men”  was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

how to do a push up for longevity

They looked at over 1000 men with an average age of 39.6 years.  They found that men who could “complete more than 40 push-ups were associated with a significantly lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease event risk compared with those completing fewer than 10 push-ups”  A 95% lower risk!

At Lifestyle Integration we have written about cardiovascular disease before and as a man over 50 we need to pay attention as it is the leading cause of death. If you want quality of life and longevity you need to pay attention to your heart health and if doing a few push-ups might make a difference I’m all in.

Walking Test

A third test that can help to predict our quality of life as we age in walking speed.

It was found that “of the 34,485 adults in the studies, people with average life expectancy walked at about 0.8 meter per second. For those with a gait speed of one meter per second or faster “survival was longer than expected by age and sex alone.”

Lifestyle Integration is all about your health, well-being and longevity.  We hope these simple little tests can start to give you a baseline or indicator of where your health might be.  Remember they are only indicators not guarantees.

For other tools and products that can help with your quality of life visit our website or click on the links to see more about things like fish oil, Vitamin D, near infrared saunas or Hair Mineral Analysis