Myopia on the rise due to online schooling during pandemic

Cai Wenjun
Using large digital screens as well as taking a break to look out of windows during lessons are important for myopia prevention during online schooling due to COVID-19.
Cai Wenjun

Using large digital screens as well as taking a break to look out of windows during lessons are important for myopia prevention and control during online schooling due to the COVID-19 resurgence.

To educate and promote eye care knowledge among parents and children, Shanghai University School of Medicine teamed up with 10 leading medical experts to launch an online lecture on Friday to give tips on solving vision fatigue.

Dr Fan Xianqun said long-time exposure and short distances to digital screens as well as reduced outdoor activity are all major causes for poor eye health. Stress and a lack of vitamin intake during the pandemic also have their influence.

"In addition to online schooling, parents must control children's contact with screens during their spare time," he said. "Also, the smaller the screen the worse impact on eyes."

Sufficient sleep is also important.

Dr Liu Lin from Renji Hospital said primary school students should sleep for 10 hours, nine hours for middle school students and eight hours for high school students.

"Enough rest and relaxation are good for the eyes," Liu said.

Studies found the incidence of myopia in nine provinces over six months in 2020 has increased more than 11 percent, with children receiving online schooling at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The average incidence of myopia among Chinese children and minors was 53.6 percent in 2018. A survey led by the Ministry of Education last year to study the vision change among primary and middle school students in nine provinces during the epidemic found their myopia prevalence has increased from 59.2 percent to 70.6 percent.

Myopia on the rise due to online schooling during pandemic
Ti Gong

the online lecture on eye health.


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