Pandemic tie to vision issues seen in Chinese kids’ study

In this September 7, 2020 file photo, students wearing face masks to control the spread of the coronavirus walk side by side as they arrive at an elementary school in Beijing. Studies suggest that pandemic restrictions and increased myopia among Chinese school children during online learning, doctors believe the same thing happened to children in the United States. The report on grades 2 and 3 published at JAMA Ophthalmology on Thursday, September 16, 2021 shows the latest trends, and the results reflect the results of two previous Chinese studies.Credits: AP Photo / Andy Wong, File

Studies have shown that pandemic restrictions and increased vision problems among Chinese school children during online learning have led eye experts to suspect that the same has happened to children in the United States.

Report released on Thursday JAMA Ophthalmology Shows the latest trends, and the results reflect the results of two previous Chinese studies.

Researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou compared data from annual eye examinations with about 2,000 children. Second grade..Half of the kids were tested twice before Pandemic, Late 2018 and a year later. Others were retested in late 2019 and late last year, months after the school was closed and Chinese authorities imposed quarantine and blockade.

The first tests of both groups, conducted prior to the pandemic, showed about the same, about 7% myopia in sophomores. It increased in both groups, but even more in the group retested at the end of last year. By third grade, about 20% of them were myopia, compared to 13% of those that were retested before the pandemic.

The study lacked information about the time both groups of children spend online and do other work that can hurt their eyes. This is a researcher-approved limit.

However, according to editorials, the results and the results of previous studies “potentially provide parents, schools and government agencies with time for outdoor activities and monitor the time spent on nearby work. We should encourage them to recognize their value. “

Myopia, officially called MyopiaAffects about 30% of the world’s population, and there is evidence that it has grown steadily over the last two decades. This is a focus problem that causes distant objects to appear blurry and can often be fixed with glasses. States can be inherited, but habits can affect the person who develops them. Evidence suggests that people who spend a lot of time working on computers, reading books, or other in-depth visual tasks are at risk.

Norleen Sheikh, a myopia specialist at Lully Children’s Hospital in Chicago, firmly called for Chinese studies, saying Lully researchers are investigating changes in myopia in the United States. Children During a pandemic.

“Anecdotally, it seems to be increasing in particular. Young children“Shake said.

Her colleague Lurie optometrist Magdalena Stec said there are ways to reduce eye strain, including a lot of outdoor time and the practice of “20/20/20” vision rules. 20 seconds 20 feet away.

Increasing screen time during COVID-19 can harm a child’s eyesight

For more information:
Yin Hu et al, Incidence of myopia in young Chinese school children during the outbreak of COVID-19, JAMA Ophthalmology (2021). DOI: 10.1001 / jamaophthalmol.2021.3563

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