Newswise — Honolulu, Hawaii – In a new study, vision researchers found that certain types of lightbulbs and reading at different times of the day may contribute to nearsightedness, a condition clinically referred to as myopia. In another study, scientists found that a common food flavoring may offer new treatment options for reducing nearsightedness. The findings from the three new studies are being presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sunday, April 29 – Thursday, May 3.

Common lightbulbs may promote nearsightedness
One new study indicates that commercially-available light bulbs may contribute to nearsightedness, while a new source of light created by the researchers may protect against the development of nearsightedness.

Researchers recreated the lighting produced by two commercially-available LED products and examined their effect on chicks over three days. Both products appeared to encourage eye growth, a factor involved in the development of nearsightedness. The researcher-designed light source appeared to reduce eye growth and cause less nearsightedness than the other two products.

 “These findings have significant clinical implications, as the lighting we created could potentially be used in indoor environments, like school classrooms, for the prevention of myopia,” said first author Hannah Yoon, New England College of Optometry.  

Abstract title: Indoor Illuminants, S-Cone Stimulation, and Eye Growth in Chicks
Presentation start/end time:  
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 1 – 2:45pm
Location: Kamehameha Exhibit Hall Abstract number: 683 – C0278

Food flavoring may slow myopia progression
Results of a recent study show that Citral, a lemon-tasting oil used in foods, slows the development of nearsightedness in guinea pigs.

The researchers in Shanghai, China, induced myopia in guinea pigs and fed them citral or retinoic acid. A control group was also studied.  Animals fed retinoic acid were more nearsighted than the control group; citral-fed animals were less nearsighted than the control group. Citral is known to inhibit the creation of retinoic acid in the body, suggesting that inhibiting retinoic acid synthesis may be a viable target for a future drug to treat nearsightedness.

 “This finding may provide a new perspective to investigate the mechanism of myopia development and a new way to inhibit myopia progression. But, there is a long way to go from bench to bedside,” said first author Manrong Yu of Fudan University.

Abstract title: The effect of blue light on the guinea pigs with lens induced myopia          
Presentation start/end time:  
Sunday, April 29, 1 – 2:45pm
Location: Kamehameha Exhibit Hall Abstract number: 687 – C0282

When you read could impact your vision
Reading in the morning may promote the development of nearsightedness faster than reading in the evening, according to new researcher. Scientists in Adelaide, Australia, examined a dozen young adults to determine whether reading-like conditions impacted the eye differently depending on the time of day.  

“Our results show that changes in the length of the eye in response to visual blur, which causes myopia, are dependent on the time of the day. As a result, scheduling intensive reading activities in the evening, along with frequent breaks for distance viewing may prevent the development of myopia in school children, particularly the ones that are at risk of developing myopia due to excessive near work,” said first author Ranjay Chakraborty, PhD, Flinders University.

Abstract title: Time of the day influences the response to optical defocus in human eyes             
Presentation start/end time:  
Monday, April 30, 9:45 – 10am
Location: 313A Abstract number: 1176

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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include nearly 11,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders.

All abstracts accepted for presentation at the ARVO Annual Meeting represent previously unpublished data and conclusions. This research may be proprietary or may have been submitted for journal publication. Embargo policy: Journalists must seek approval from the presenter(s) before reporting data from paper or poster presentations. Press releases or stories on information presented at the ARVO Annual Meeting may not be released or published until the conclusion of the presentation.

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Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology