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Kids in tower blocks 'at more risk of bad eyesight'
A HAMPSHIRE eye expert has warned that children living in tower blocks are more at risk of developing poor vision.
Andy Luff, from Optegra Solent Eye Hospital, is urging youngsters to get more access to natural light to ensure their eyes develop to a normal size.
He warns that big eyes can cause short-sightedness and while they can be a genetic feature, childhood environment and experiences, such as a lack of natural light, can also affect the size of your eyes.
Research by the eye hospital, based in Whiteley, reveals that 44 per cent of those living in the south are short-sighted and that 12 per cent of those either describe their eyes as being big or have other people describe them in that way.
Mr Luff said: “While big eyes can certainly look beautiful, the fact is that if your eyes are slightly too big – and of course, we can only see a small part of the eyeball – this will cause you to suffer short sight.
“This is because if the eyeball is too big the light focused by the lens system of the eye does not reach the back wall, known as the retina, where images are processed.
“Not only can we inherit eyes that are larger than they should be, but in the early years of our life when eyes are developing, if we do not allow ourselves access to enough natural daylight, this can also cause our eyes to grow larger.
“It seems that children living in tower blocks, where access to natural light may not be easy, forces their eyes to grow too much and can lead to tremendous problems with short-sight.”
He added that while there are a variety of corrective options available, people can also give their vision the best chance by taking a break from reading and computers every 20 minutes to focus 20m away for about 20 seconds.
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