Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Night Lights Don't Lead To Nearsightedness, Study Suggests

Date:
March 9, 2000
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
A new study published in the journal Nature suggests that leaving a light on in a sleeping infant's room won't increase the child's chance of becoming nearsighted. The study contradicts previous research, published in the May 13, 1999, issue of Nature, that found babies younger than 2 years old who slept with a light on were at increased risk of developing myopia - nearsightedness - later in childhood.

Columbus, Ohio - A new study published in the journal Nature suggests that leaving a light on in a sleeping infant's room won't increase the child's chance of becoming nearsighted.

The study contradicts previous research, published in the May 13, 1999, issue of Nature, that found babies younger than 2 years old who slept with a light on were at increased risk of developing myopia - nearsightedness - later in childhood.

In the current study of 1,220 children, Ohio State University researchers found no association between nighttime lighting and the development of nearsightedness. It didn't matter if the child had slept in a dark room, with a night light on or in a fully lit room. What the researchers did find, however, was a strong link between nearsighted parents and nearsighted children.

"We found no link between nighttime lighting and the development of childhood myopia," said Karla Zadnik, a co-author of the study and an associate professor in the College of Optometry at Ohio State. "In fact, the proportion of myopic children across nursery lighting conditions was remarkably uniform." A second, independent report in this issue also finds no link between nighttime lighting and myopia.

The study found that of 417 children who had slept without a light on, 20 percent became myopic; of 758 children who had slept with a nightlight on, 17 percent became myopic; and of 45 children who had slept in a fully-lit room, 22 percent became myopic.

She and her colleagues surveyed parents for the study, asking what kind of nighttime lighting had been used in their children's rooms before age 2. Eyes grow rapidly during the first two years of life, but myopia usually doesn't develop until much later. The average age of the children surveyed in this study was 10 years.

The previous study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, found that "ambient light exposure during sleep at night in the first two years" of a child's life greatly increase that child's chances of developing myopia. This earlier study showed that nearly half of the children who had slept in a fully lit room had become myopic later in childhood.

But the same study did not take into consideration whether or not parents were nearsighted, according to Zadnik. Her study took into account parental myopia. The researchers noticed that nearsighted parents were more likely to use a nightlight in their child's room. "We think this may be due to the parents' own poor eyesight," Zadnik said. Also, Zadnik said her study found that genetics plays a significant role in causing myopia.

The children in the earlier study were also not representative of most children with myopia. The children in their study had a higher proportion of myopia than expected for their age. These children came to a specialty clinic, whereas the children in the new study were seen by various optometrists in schools across the U.S.

"Across nursery lighting conditions, the percent of children in our study who eventually developed myopia was very similar," Zadnik said. "Parents should be reassured by these results and not concern themselves with this unfounded risk."

Zadnik conducted this study with Donald Mutti, an associate professor, and Lisa Jones, an adjunct assistant professor, both in the College of Optometry at Ohio State; Brett Irvin, an optometry student at Ohio State; Robert Kleinstein, of the University of Alabama School of Optometry in Birmingham; Ruth Manny, of the University of Houston College of Optometry; and Julin Shin, of the Southern California College of Optometry.

This research was part of an ongoing study called the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error (CLEERE) study. CLEERE studies children in four locations in the United States. The study is funded by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Night Lights Don't Lead To Nearsightedness, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000309074442.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2000, March 9). Night Lights Don't Lead To Nearsightedness, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000309074442.htm
Ohio State University. "Night Lights Don't Lead To Nearsightedness, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000309074442.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins