A link between myopia and the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr Antony Clark examines patient Jessica, who has myopia and is undergoing treatment at the Lions Eye Institute

Research that shows a link between children spending less time outside and a considerable increase in myopia cases has been published in JAMA Ophthalmology. The article was authored by Professor David Mackey AO and Dr Samantha Lee of the Lions Eye Institute.

Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is associated with an increased risk of potentially blinding eye conditions in adulthood including retinal detachment, macular disease, cataract and glaucoma.

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions have resulted in dramatic decreases in how much time children spend outdoors, creating an epidemic of myopia cases. This epidemic has been most noted in cities that are crowded, where the opportunity to get outside might not be as available. Although the disruption of the COVID-19 epidemic is receding, the myopia epidemic is still with us and needs a renewed research focus.

Read the journal article to find out more on this topic.

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