AUG 03, 2022
Investigators in Argentina evaluated whether home confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on myopic shift at myopia onset.
Thirty-nine consecutive patients aged 5–18 years diagnosed with new-onset myopia between September 2020 and May 2021 had change in refractive error analyzed. Inclusion criteria included patients with 2 years of emmetropia on cycloplegic refraction prior to the onset of myopia. The mean myopic shifts over those 2 years, the first shift representing pre-pandemic levels and the second representing the height of home confinement during the pandemic, were calculated and compared.
During the period prior to the pandemic, mean annualized myopic shifts were −0.31 D in the left eye and −0.37 D in the right eye. This increased to −1.08 D and −1.12 D per year during the first year of the pandemic and home confinement, an increase comparable with that seen in studies conducted in other countries during the same time period.
The study had a small patient population, and exclusion criteria were not provided. However, the presence of cycloplegic refraction data prior to onset of myopia was likely a limiting factor.
Increased progression of myopia seen during the time of home confinement was thought to be attributed to decreased outdoor time and increased remote schooling and near work.