- A Chinese study found that the rate of new cases of myopia in children doubled in 2020 compared to 2019
- In 2019, 7.5% of children who did not have myopia a year earlier were found to have it, which doubled to 15% in 2020.
- Lifestyle changes such as the implementation of virtual learning during the pandemic may impact children’s eye health, researchers find
- Epidemic-related changes in life can have many long-term negative effects on children, such as an increase in mental health issues.
A new study finds that lifestyle changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic increased the rate of primary school children who developed nearsightedness.
Researchers from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong, China, found that the number of children with nearsightedness – also known as myopia – in 2020 was twice as high as in 2019.
They are to blame for the increase in the pandemic and children spending more time using screens due to virtual learning and less time outside.
The team noted that this is yet another example of the many long-term effects of the pandemic on people around the world, which will continue to exist after 2020.
A new study found that in 2019, 7.5% of children who did not have myopia a year earlier developed the condition. This figure doubled to 15% in 2020
The study found that increased screen time for many children during the pandemic due to virtual learning and less outdoor activities has had a negative impact on their eye health. Pictured: A student in Los Angeles, California attends virtual classes in February
The research team, whose findings were published Thursday in JAMA Ophthalmology, had been studying the development of myopia in young children even before the pandemic.
In 2018, they tested a group of more than 1,000 children for the condition.
They tested a group of students in grade 2 and then tested them once again for myopia when they entered grade 3 in 2019.
Another group of another 1,000 Grade 2 students were gathered to add to the study in 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic would begin in China’s Wuhan in late 2019, however, and in early 2020 it locked down much of the nation.
After nearly a year of life in the pandemic, the 2019 Grade 2 students were again tested for nearsightedness in Grade 3 at the end of 2020.
The researchers found that 7.5 percent of children in the pre-pandemic group who did not have myopia in 2018 had the condition in 2019.
For the epidural group, 15 percent of children had developed the condition at some point between the two trials.
This means that the rate of new cases of myopia in young children during 2020 was twice that of the previous year.
Researchers speculate that the sharp increase in myopia between the two years is due to an increase in screen time.
Children were forced to participate in virtual learning due to COVID, which means they were staring at screens for hours a day.
Even outside of school, younger children were more likely to spend free time on screens rather than participating in outdoor activities as in previous years.
an abundance of screen time, especially in childhood, has been tightly tied For myopia in previous research.
many even Fears at the start of the pandemic The implications of virtual learning can have a negative impact on students’ eye health.
It is one of many potential long-term effects that people may suffer due to disruptions in daily life during the pandemic.
The long-term impact of environmental changes during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak warrants further investigation, the authors wrote.
Social isolation has also been linked to the closure of Kovid schools. Growth In children suffering from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and ADHD.