In a new study published in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal, scientists discover a correlation between firstborns and myopia. According to the statistics, an older child is more prone to develop myopia or other associated ophthalmic afflictions.
Using data collected from over 90,000 people of adult age, the study shows that educational history and background combined with the frequency of outdoor activities can trigger the onset of myopia or other ophthalmic conditions.
The head of the research team, professor Jeremy Guggenheim of Cardiff University, affirmed that the oldest sibling is more susceptible to myopia or severe ophthalmic conditions than any other of his siblings.
The most striking aspect in Guggenheim’s approach is that myopia can affect younger siblings also but not as strong as their older siblings.
From a demographical point of view, myopia is more akin to countries that experience a fast economical development such as China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia and it showed a spectacular increase in the last 10 years.
One of the theories that is somewhat popular among the scienfic community states that myopia can be an inherited trait, but this was yet to be verified.
Guggenheim proposes that we take a look at the interpersonal interactions between the family members in order to shed some light on this event. He speculates that parents tend to focus more on the education of their firstborn than on his siblings.
Such children tend to spend less time practicing outdoor physical activities and more time focusing on personal education. Guggenheim stresses out that the lack of recreational activities tend to put a lot of pressure on a child’s eyesight.
Also, a child is more inclined to deny any participation in outdoor recreational activities if parents deem necessary for him to have access to electronics, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Guggenheim backs up his theory with another medical study published in China that suggests the number of children who experience myopia suddenly dropped if a regime of a 40-minute outside activity per day is enforced.
Again, there is no empirical evidence that directly links firstborns to myopia, but we can’t deny the fact that the incidence of such an affliction increases given both the genetic background and the parent’s approach to his education. It is only natural for a parent to try and provide his child with the best education possible, but sometimes all of those aspects, which seem necessary in a child’s education can do a lot more damage than we think.
Image source: www.pixabay.com