Elise Harb, OD, PhD, a clinician scientist in the Wildsoet lab, and Berkeley Optometry Hall of Famer Donald Mutti, OD, PhD, were quoted in a recent article by the Washington Post on the health benefits of sunlight exposure. The article reviewed a new feature of the Apple Watch that tracks sunlight exposure. Drs. Harb and Mutti offered their thoughts on studies that have found children who spend more time outdoors are at a lower risk of developing myopia. See below for an excerpt from the article.
Researchers are still trying to determine why time outdoors lowers a child’s risk for myopia, said Elise Harb, pediatric optometrist at the University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley. It’s not clear if it’s because of light exposure or that time outdoors means less time spent on nearsighted tasks.
“To me, the best evidence is that it’s simply the brightness of being outdoors,” said Donald O. Mutti, professor in optometry at Ohio State University, who co-wrote a 2007 study on the link. Light outside is often 10 to 100 times brighter than indoors. The bright light triggers the release of dopamine in the eye that may affect myopia risk, he said.
“The sad news is, for those who are currently nearsighted, time outdoors does not seem to influence what glasses you are going to need,” Mutti said.
To read the full story on the Washington Post website, please click the button below.Washington Post
About Dr. Harb
Dr. Elise Harb is a clinical scientist, pediatric optometrist, and Director of the Myopia Control Clinic at UCSF. She is also a member of the Wildsoet Lab here at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. Dr. Harb holds two degrees from UC Berkeley: a PhD in Vision Science, and a MS in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health. Read more about Dr. Harb on her profile, linked here.
About Dr. Mutti
Dr. Donald Mutti is an alumnus of the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science (OD, PhD), and a member of its Hall of Fame. Dr. Mutti is currently a professor at the Ohio State University College of Optometry. Read more about Dr. Mutti at this link.