Myopia Progression in Children during COVID-19 Home Confinement in Argentina
The purpose of this study is to determine whether the progression of myopia in children is faster during school closures and home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was a case series study collecting retrospective data of refractive error during 2019 and 2020 in consecutive myopic patients attending regular checkups for their spectacle prescription. Inclusion criteria were spherical equivalent between -0·50 and -6·00 diopters (5-18 years of age) consulting from September to December 2020.
Patients receiving any treatment for arresting myopia progression were excluded. Cycloplegic spherical equivalent in both eyes was recorded for 2018, 2019 and 2020. Mean progression over the two periods 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 was calculated.
At the 2020 visit after confinement, mean age of the 115 enrolled patients was 11·89 ± 3·68 years and 60·0% were girls. The mean annualized progression for the right eyes in 2019 was 0·44±0·52 D and increased to 0·58±0·53 D in 2020 during the period that included home confinement (p = 0·0019).
Mean annual progression rates during strict pandemic home confinement was faster than in the previous year, in contrast to the general slowing of progression as children get older.