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March 2002

Association Between Light Exposure During the Night and Myopia in Children

Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(3):406-407. doi:

I read with great interest the letter from Zadnik1 and the editorial2 discussing possible biases and errors that could have influenced the results of the study by Quinn et al3 in the May 13, 1999, issue of Nature. The authors reported a strong positive correlation between night light exposure in children younger than 2 years and later development of myopia. Accordingly, serious concerns have been raised about scientific evidence of the causal relationship reported in this study. Thus, the advice to avoid room lighting for sleeping children does not seem to be justifiable. During the last 2 years, however, many newspapers and some ophthalmologic journals recommended that parents avoid using night lights in their children's bedrooms. Although the study by Quinn et al3 did not establish a casual link, it has been suggested that the absence of a daily period of darkness during early childhood represents a risk in the development of myopia.

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