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Covid-19 pandemic linked to increased nearsightedness in kids

Covid-19 pandemic linked to increased nearsightedness in kids

London, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) A rise in cases of short-sightedness (myopia) among children in Hong Kong may be linked to a significant decrease in the time they have been able to spend outdoors and a sharp rise in screen time during the coronavirus pandemic, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

An increase in close working and screen time and a decrease in time spent outdoors have been implicated in short-sightedness, a condition in which the shape of the eye changes, causing light rays to bend incorrectly, focusing images in front of, instead of on the surface of, the retina.

Short-sightedness in children matters because it puts them at risk of developing complications that increase the risk of irreversible impaired eyesight/blindness later in life, say the researchers.

Scientists suggest continuing to research, as the first results showed alarming progression of myopia justifying the adoption of adequate corrective measures.

They also called on professionals, politicians and parents to work so that this disease does not become a crisis for public health systems in the world, now battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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