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The Progression of Myopia in School-Aged Children After COVID-19

Clinician performs routine exam on child patient

The Progression of Myopia in School-Aged Children After COVID-19 Confinement

It is estimated that more than 285 million people worldwide have vision impairment and 42% of cases are due to uncorrected refractive errors.1 The World Health Organization estimates that half the world's population may be myopic by 2050.2

Myopia is the inability to see things clearly unless they're relatively close to your eyes. Also called nearsightedness or shortsightedness, myopia is the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

In 2015, a school-based photoscreening project was launched in Feicheng, China, to track the prevalence of myopia among children. Home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to be associated with a significant myopic shift for children aged six to eight years old, according to 2020 school-based photoscreenings.

To calculate the effect on myopia, researchers analyzed data from annual vision screenings conducted on children from ten elementary schools in Shandong, China, using the Welch Allyn® Spot® Vision Screener between 2015 and 2020.

  1. Bourne RR, Stevens GA, White RA, Smith JL, Flaxman SR, Price H et al. Causes of vision loss worldwide, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis. Lancet Global Health. 2013;1:e339–e349. Accessed April 2016.
  2. World Health Organization. The impact of myopia and high myopia. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2016.