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Research: light and myopia

​Recovery is dependent upon the fullness and correlated colour temperature of the light spectrum

Source: IOVS 2022, 63(2):16
Paper reference:

Myopia is a highly prevalent condition among Asians, and without adequate interventions, it is projected to affect about 50% of the world population by 2050. Epidemiological studies suggest that spending time outdoors can prevent the onset of myopia in children. The protective impact of outdoor time against myopia may be due to the unique characteristics of sunlight such as its intensity, spectral distribution, and temporal pattern, which are lacking in traditional indoor lighting.

In a recent study from Dr Raymond Najjar’s group, Dr Muralidharan AR and colleagues evaluated the impact of moderate light levels (i.e., similar to those encountered indoors) of full-spectrum light-emitting diodes (LEDs) mimicking sunlight on ocular growth, and myopia development and recovery in a chicken model of form-deprivation myopia.

The study showed that LEDs mimicking the spectra of sunlight can promote emmetropization and accelerate recovery from experimental myopia in chickens compared to traditional fluorescent light.

Even though these findings still need to be replicated in humans, they support the notion that the spectral composition of indoor light could affect ocular growth and emmetropization, and open new research avenues for light-centered, passive myopia-control.


For more information, watch this video as Dr Najjar discusses his work on light and myopia:

Internet access required

Comment by Prof Saw Seang Mei, Co-head Myopia research, SERI

The aim of this study is to see if moderate light levels (similar to that normally encountered indoors) but with spectral compositions similar to sunlight could promote emmetropization, or stop development of experimental myopia in chickens. Although the Sunlike LEDs were unable to stop the development of myopia in this experiment, chickens exposed to the Sunlike LEDs recovered (or emmetropized) more rapidly after myopia inducing stimulus was removed, compared to those exposed to traditional indoor lightning. It will be interesting to see if these findings can be replicated in a mammalian animal model and/or in humans. If so, this could suggest that altering indoor lightning may be useful in controlling myopia progression in children.

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