The Role of Light Exposure in Eye Growth and Circadian Rhythm in Children and Adults

Seminar | April 8 | 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

 Dr. Lisa Ostrin

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Light exposure has a close link with numerous aspects of human physiology, and has been implicated in circadian rhythm disturbances, mood disorders, cancer, and metabolic disorders. Light exposure may also play a role in ocular growth and myopia. Several studies have reported an association between time spent outdoors and myopia. With accumulating evidence to suggest that light exposure and circadian rhythms influence refractive development, we have carried out a series of experiments to understand associations between light exposure, circadian rhythm, and refractive status. I will present results from a study in which children wore a light sensor, activity monitor, and sleep tracker (Actiwatch Spectrum) for three 2-week periods over one year, and data were analyzed with refraction and axial elongation. Next, I will discuss a study in which the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell-driven pupil response was assessed in children, and pupil metrics were analyzed with light exposure and refraction. Lastly, I will present results from studies investigating systemic and ocular circadian rhythms in adults and children, evaluated over a 24 hour period. Results from these studies suggest that a complex relationship between light exposure and refractive status exists. Ongoing studies will help to further clarify the role of light exposure in myopia development, and may help to provide recommendations for modifiable behaviors that could slow myopia progression.

 nrterranova@berkeley.edu