If you’ve been looking for an excuse to make sure you and your kids spend more time outdoors, you may have just found it. According to new studies, natural light is extremely beneficial for the development and ongoing health of your eyes. Spending just three hours a day outside soaking up natural light can make a huge difference on vision. It can help lower the risk of children and young adults developing myopia, or nearsightedness as it’s commonly known.
Dopamine, a chemical located in the eye that controls normal growth and development of the eyeball, is stimulated by natural light. This is important because if the eyeball grows abnormally and is too long then it will send images to the retina that are out of focus. In other words, it will cause nearsightedness.
It’s especially important for younger kids to be exposed to natural light for the recommended three hours a day because their eyes are still in the development stage. That being said, three hours may seem like a lot of time in direct sunlight. But that’s not what we mean. Being in natural light just means being outdoors, even in cloudy conditions, or under the protection of shade. Or even in a naturally-lit room with big, open and bright windows.
Limiting your child’s time in artificial lighting can really help reduce their risk of becoming nearsighted. So now that you know the benefits, why not plan more outdoor activities to do together?
Artificial Light Can Harm Vision
Although the discovery that natural light helps eyesight is relatively new, it has been known for quite some time that artificial light can actually be harmful to your eyesight. It is thought that the more time you spend indoors under artificial lighting, the more vision problems you will struggle with.
Fluorescent lighting can cause eye strain and headaches because of the way the light flickers. In addition, incandescent lights which we often find in homes can also cause eye strain and other serious eye issues. This is without taking into account that artificial lighting is often brighter in certain areas than in others, and your eyes may have difficulty adjusting properly to the difference in light.
The Elderly Benefit, Too
Natural light isn’t only beneficial for kids and young adults. Studies show that exposure to natural light is particularly important for the elderly. It has been correlated to reducing depression, helping fight Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Increased exposure to daylight greatly improves sleep quality and overall health in the elderly, too. Just as too much artificial light from screens can impact one’s sleep before retirement, the elderly who spend too much time indoors due to mobility issues can really benefit from more time spent in natural light as well. If you have elderly relatives or friends who live in nursing homes, make sure to drop by and take them outside regularly, if you can. You’ll greatly increase their quality of life.
Natural Light Over Blue Light
Blue light is contained within the natural light spectrum and is necessary for your body to maintain healthy biorhythms. As you age, so does the lens in the back of the eye. Over time, it becomes harder and harder for the lens to absorb that blue light. This can lead to your brain producing less melatonin.
As a result, your sleep-wake cycles are thrown off and you may begin to experience insomnia or other sleep-related complications. This can lead to other health issues such as heart disease and depression.
It’s clear that the more time the elderly spend in natural light, the better able their bodies will be able to absorb blue light that helps fight off diseases and helps contribute to an overall higher level of health.
Protect Your Eyes
As we said, being in natural light doesn’t mean being directly in the sun. You still need to be aware of harmful UV rays. Any time you are outdoors you should take precautions to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays. As far as scientists understand, the UV light from the sun isn’t needed to improve your eye health, but rather, UV rays can damage your eyes. This is why it’s important to protect your eyes and your skin at all times when you’re outside.
To protect your eyes from being damaged, always wear sunglasses that are designed to block UV rays and hats whenever you are outside. It’s important to make sure your kids always wear these items as well. In addition, don’t forget to put on sunscreen to protect your skin.
As an alternative to spending the full three hours a day outside, you can also let as much natural light into your home as possible by opening curtains and blinds. The more time your eyes are exposed to natural light, the better off they will be.
Alternatives to Natural Light
There are also many light bulbs available nowadays that are referred to as ‘daylight bulbs’; these are designed to mimic natural light. They are probably not as effective for keeping your eyes healthy as true natural light. But, daylight bulbs are a great alternative to the other types of light bulbs that can contribute to vision problems. There are even some that are designed to help improve your sleep cycle or treat seasonal affective disorder.
One last thing you can do to improve your vision is to try daily eye vitamins.
Thousands of people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms have successfully used natural vision supplements to improve eyesight. Make sure the supplements contain eye-healthy vitamins and nutrients, like those found in our Ocu-Plus Formula.
Those that have used these natural vision supplements have seen results to the point where they no longer needed corrective lenses at all anymore to see clearly. They’re easy to incorporate into your daily diet and they really work.
Anything is worth trying if it means your eyes will get stronger and your vision will improve, right? So take some time outside after work today and do something good for your vision and for your health. Your future self will thank you!