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Myopia and ambient night-time lighting


Myopia is a common affliction (one in four adult Americans is near-sighted1), and juvenile-onset myopia is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors2. Results from animal experiments indicate that light cycles may affect the development of myopia3,4, and Quinn et al. claim to have extended these to humans5. They reported a strong association between childhood myopia and night-time lighting before the age of two: there were five times more children with myopia among those who slept with room lights on than in those who slept in the dark, and an intermediate number among those sleeping with a dim night-light5. However, we have been unable to find a link between night-time nursery lighting and the development of myopia in a sample of schoolchildren.

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Correspondence to Karla Zadnik.

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Zadnik, K., Jones, L., Irvin, B. et al. Myopia and ambient night-time lighting. Nature 404, 143–144 (2000).

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