Refractive Error Changes Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Confinement in Children from Puerto Rico: A Retrospective Study

Significant myopic progression occurred in Puerto Rican children following pandemic-related confinement, irrespective of their initial refractive status. The study, conducted at the Inter American Eye Institute, analyzed 801 records of children aged 7 to 18 before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. A notable myopic shift post-lockdown was observed in all age groups except 7- and 8-year-olds. No significant gender-based differences were found. The mean spherical equivalent showed a substantial pre- to post-lockdown difference (0.22 ± 0.59 D). This indicates a noteworthy impact of the pandemic on the refractive error of Hispanic school-aged children, highlighting the potential influence of online learning during lockdown on visual health. The study underscores the importance of monitoring and addressing myopia progression in this population.

Publication date

September 1, 2023


Optometry and Vision Science


Rodriguez, Neisha M.; Acevedo, Ariette OD; Torres, Vionette Pereira; Romero, Angel F.
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