A recent study showed that vision difficulties increased among Chinese schoolchildren during restrictions imposed to curb the Corona virus and increase online learning, and that the same thing happened in the United States.
University researchers in China studied data from eye examinations of about two thousand children for a year, and the study tested half of the children before the pandemic (late 2018), while the others were tested a year later (late 2019), in addition to a test late last year, after several months. From closing schools and imposing quarantine and closures by the Chinese authorities.
Preliminary tests for both groups conducted before the pandemic showed myopia among about 7 percent of second-year students, and it increased in both groups, but increased more in those who were retested late last year. By the third stage, about 20 percent of them were nearsighted, compared to 13 percent of those tested again before the pandemic.
The study lacked information about the amount of time children in both groups spent online or doing other work that might be stressful to the eye, a limitation the researchers acknowledged.
However, a journal editorial said that the findings, along with similar findings from previous studies, “should motivate parents, schools, and government agencies to recognize the potential value of providing children with outdoor activity time and monitoring the amount of time they spend in close work.”
Myopia affects about 30 percent of the world’s population, and evidence suggests that it has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, and that working on computers, reading or doing other visual work has a role.
Source: “Associated Press”