A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology raises concerns about children confined indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Home confinement during the pandemic was associated with a significant myopic shift among Chinese children aged 6 to 8, the American Journal of Managed Care reports.
During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, it is estimated that over 220 million school-aged children and adolescents in China were confined to their homes. As a result, “concerns have been raised about whether the period of lockdown may have worsened the burden of myopia due to significantly decreased time spent outdoors and increased screen time at home.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2050, half of the world’s population may have myopia, and in recent years research has shown insufficient time spent doing outdoor activities is a major risk factor for myopia development, the authors wrote.