Impact of COVID-19 Home Confinement in Children's Refractive Errors.
Myopia is a public health problem, with estimations that 50% of the world population will be myopic by 2050. Some environmental factors, such as time spent outdoors, doing near work, and using digital devices, influence the development of myopia in children. Home confinement in Spain has increased these risk factors, so this study aims to investigate the impact of home confinement during the COVID-19 outbreak in the vision of school-aged children; Methods: A cross-sectional study in children between 5 and 7 years old that completed a visual screening and a questionnaire about their lifestyles at opticians in Spain in September and October of 2019 and 2020. Statistical analysis to compare lifestyles pre and post confinement, and vision in 2020 versus a similar cohort examined at the same opticians in 2019, was conducted; Results: Spanish children spent less time outdoors and more time doing near work in 2020 than in 2019 (p ≤ 0.001). There was a significant decrease of the spherical equivalent (mean ± standard deviation; 0.66 ± 2.03 D in 2019 vs. 0.48 ± 1.81 D in 2020; p ≤ 0.001); Conclusions: Lifestyles of Spanish children changed during the home confinement at the beginning of 2020. Together with changes in their lifestyles, spherical equivalents have decreased, which implies higher figures of myopia for children aged between 5 and 7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 17;18(10):5347. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18105347. PMID: 34067888; PMCID: PMC8156137.