Myopia and (too much) early reading

Better late than early! Or too little than too much!

I know many homeschoolers who take pride in how early their children have started reading but I see them wearing thick glasses at 5 or 8! People may write it off as a genetic problem but research proves otherwise. There are interesting studies pointed out in an Apr 2005 petition to FDA. Here are some juicy quotes:
Children now spend much of their time focusing on close objects, such as books and computers. To compensate, the eyeball is thought to grow longer. That way less effort is needed to focus up close, but the elongated eye can no longer focus on distant objects.
The argument is about why the rate of myopia is so much higher in east Asia than elsewhere. The conventional view is that people from the region have genetic variations that make them more susceptible. But after reviewing over 40 studies, Morgan and Kathryn Rose of the University of Sydney argue that there is no evidence to support this.
The pair, whose work will be published in Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, use several lines of evidence to debunk the idea that genes can explain the Asian epidemics. For instance, 70 per cent of 18-year-old men of Indian origin living in Singapore have myopia, while in India itself the rate is roughly 10 per cent.
Another study found myopia rates of 80 per cent in 14 to 18-year-old boys studying in schools in Israel that emphasize reading religious texts. The rate for boys in state schools was just 30 per cent.
In another study, researchers at Spain's Complutense University found that 31.3% of first-years were nearsighted. Among those four to six years older, in their final year, the rate was 49%. Research author Dr. Rafaela Garrido, who presented her findings to the 10th International Myopia Conference in Cambridge in July 2004, says:
Some students are spending too long in intensive near work with their eyes. It is also a problem with people who spend too long on a computer or using a microscope. It's difficult to ask students to do less reading, as it is essential to passing courses, but we have to find ways to deal with the stress on the eyes.

One of the saddest realities of contemporary "eye care" is that although there are a few vision specialists with at least a moderate interest in the cause and prevention of myopia, most of their colleagues show not the slightest interest in this work. They continue to claim that no one has ever proven that acquired myopia is not inherited, and that there is therefore no reason to believe that this problem can be prevented. It is difficult to understand how this hereditary theory can still persist in spite of decades of research proving beyond doubt that prolonged close work causes myopia.
Personally, I'm happy to report that my sons 10 & 12 are farsighted, so far. (My wife and I are nearsighted and require glasses.)