Effects of remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdown on children’s visual health: a systematic review

Increased exposure to digital devices during remote learning due to the COVID-19 lockdown has led to visual health issues among school students. A systematic review of 21 articles analyzed the effects of online classes on neurotypical children's visual health. Almost all studies reported negative impacts on children's vision, including refractive errors, accommodation disturbances, dry eye, and visual fatigue symptoms. The use of digital devices for e-learning has either induced or worsened visual disturbances, such as myopia progression, dry eye, and accommodation disturbances. Quarantine measures reduced outdoor activities and increased near work, further increasing the risk of visual impairments. Even before the pandemic, myopia affected a significant percentage of the global population, and the increased reliance on electronic devices during the lockdown likely exacerbated the issue. Prolonged screen time was also linked to dry eye, affecting tear film quality. The study emphasizes the need to address the visual health consequences of remote learning and digital device usage among children.

Publication date

August 3, 2022


BMJ Open


María Camila Cortés-Albornoz, Sofía Ramírez-Guerrero, William Rojas-Carabali, Alejandra de-la-Torre, Claudia Talero-Gutiérrez
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