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Does doing close-up work like reading a book or playing video games cause myopia to increase? What are the recommendations for people who play video games? How many hours should they play?  

For a number of years, scientists have hypothesized that doing close-up work, particularly reading, may accelerate the progression of myopia (or nearsightedness). However, the literature is quite inconclusive in this regard. As a result, there are no formal, scientifically based recommendations on the numbers of hours a young person should read or play video games. As a parent, I have been a strong advocate of encouraging my children to be active and play outside and always limited their allowed time for video games. However, unfortunately, I could not base my parenting style on scientific evidence that video game play would be harmful to their eyes.

Answered by: Paul Sternberg Jr., MD Dr. Paul Sternberg

Categories: General Eye Health, Children's Eye Health

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Answered: Jul 03, 2012

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