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Myopia Progression in Children during COVID-19 Home Confinement in Argentina


Carolina Picotti, Victoria Sanchez, Leonardo Fernandez Irigaray, Ian G. Morgan, Rafael Iribarren





The Lancet


  • 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.