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Vision for Myopia Sufferers

The human eye can be affected by the visual disorder myopia

Children at risk of myopia have a brighter future thanks to a University of Canberra researcher.

Up and coming researcher Dr Regan Ashby has made exciting discoveries relating to the effects of sunlight on the visual disorder myopia or short-sightedness.

Dr Ashby has shown that the development of myopia can be prevented in animals by daily exposure to bright levels of sunlight, similar to those experienced on a sunny day. Dr Ashby and his colleagues are currently trying to understand the workings of the protective effects afforded by bright light.

"If a child were to increase time spent outdoors it could stop myopia from progressing"

With the theory now proven with animals, Dr Ashby is excited by the potential application of his research on the prevalence of myopia worldwide.

"The hope is that if a child was found to be myopic, and they were to increase their time spent outdoors under high light levels, it could stop the condition from progressing or developing."

The research rising star has his sights on success in the future. "The assistant professor scheme at the University has allowed me to establish my own laboratory, both with wet lab and animal facilities, as a section leader within the Centre for Research in Therapeutic Solutions."

As a result, his aspirations are on track to lead a young research team in determining the specific highlighting parameters required to prevent the development of myopia and to see if these findings translated into a large scale clinical trial.