I had a sneaky suspicion about this... but my version was because in bright sunlight, your pupil becomes a pinprick, giving you a pinhole camera. Thus training your visual system with a nice, sharp image, regardless of how immature your eyeball might be.
Given that a number of studies show that eyeballs at a functional level and visual cognition are tied somewhat synergistically at a young age (in other words, for them to work right, the brain has to get a good signal – this is why when babies are born, their eyes wander in all kinds of disconcerting directions… separately!), I figured this might get things rolling. So when she was really young, me & Darci made sure that Lexi got outside in as much bright sunlight as possible, so she’d have nice, sharp images on her retina rather than a potentially misshaped lens getting in the way.
Lack of sunlight causes near-sightedness.
An incredible 90 percent of primary-school kids in Singapore suffer from myopia, or near-sightedness.
In Australia, the reverse is true: Only 10 percent of kids the same age are near-sighted.
The reason, according to a new study conducted by the Australian National University is that Singaporean kids get only about 30 minutes of sunlight per day, whereas Australian kids get about three hours per day. Direct sunlight stimulates the production of dopamine, which prevents the eyeball from growing elongated and distorting the eyes' focus.
Kids in Africa spend even more time in the sun, and only about 3 percent suffer from myopia.
Long story short: Kids need a lot of sunshine every day.
By the way, if you wear glasses, you should give this experiment a try some time…
- Go outside in bright sunlight, on a nice, sunny day, around noon.
- Take your glasses off.
- Look around you.
- Enjoy the view
Everything should be nice and sharp, and your pupil should be a pinprick.
Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.
The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).