What impact has the pandemic had on the management of myopia in children?

Adrian O'Dowd examines how optometrists can prepare for and best handle a backlog of child myopia diagnoses caused by the pandemic.

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Myopia in children may have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic because fewer cases have been detected and managed during lockdowns, and children have spent more time indoors.

Cases have already been rising over the past few decades, and myopia is now more than twice as common among UK children as it was in the 1960s: 16.4% of children are now affected compared with 7.2% (McCullough et al, 2016). 

Sarah Maling, Consultant Ophthalmologist Lead for Paediatric Ophthalmology Services at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, says: “There is an absolute increase in myopia in children in the UK and around the world over the last 20 years. The numbers have grown spectacularly.”

© Image credit | Getty

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