A new study has identified a single test that can help predict if a child will become nearsighted by eighth grade. Researchers from the Ohio State University found out that this easy eye test can actually predict nearsightedness in children and can be used in schools worldwide.
The researchers surveyed around 4,500 children ages 6 to 11 years old in the United States for over 20 years. They were able to assess 13 potential risk factors for nearsightedness. Furthermore, they were able to identify the strongest single predictor that can determine which kids are most likely to be nearsighted in the future.
The children with normal vision were evaluated and during the study, 414 children became nearsighted between second and eighth grades. Kids who grew up with normal vision are in fact, slightly farsighted and when they reach first grade, future myopia can be determined though refractive error measure, Zee News reports.
After assessing the 13 potential risk factors for nearsightedness, they confirmed that eight of the 13 risk factors can actually increase the risk for kids to become nearsighted in the future. One prominent risk factor is having both parents affected by nearsightedness.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, was led by Professor Karla Zadnik, Dean of the College of Optometry at The Ohio State University. Their purpose was to see if it was possible to come up with a formula that predicts nearsightedness.
Myopia is a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, while objects farther away appear blurred. Nearsightedness is a very common vision condition affecting nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population, reports the American Optometric Association.
"Near work has been thought to be a cause of myopia, or at least a risk factor, for more than 100 years. Some of the studies that led to that conclusion are hard to refute. In this large dataset from an ethnically representative sample of children, we found no association," explained Professor Zadnik as reported in Ohio State University's News site.