Sudanese Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-

COVID-19 pandemics could cause further myopia expansion in whole world?

Anis Medjedovic1, Amra Nadarević Vodenčarević1, Meliha Halilbašić1, Allen Popović Beganović2, Adisa Pilavdžić1,  
1 Eye Clinic, University Clinical Centre Tuzla, Bosnia and Hezegovina
2 Department of Ophthalmology, European University Kallos Tuzla, Bosnia and Hezegovina

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amra Nadarević Vodenčarević
University Clinic Center Tuzla, Prof Ibre Pašića 1 75000, Tuzla
Bosnia and Hezegovina

How to cite this article:
Medjedovic A, Vodenčarević AN, Halilbašić M, Beganović AP, Pilavdžić A. COVID-19 pandemics could cause further myopia expansion in whole world?.Sudanese J Ophthalmol 2021;13:11-11

How to cite this URL:
Medjedovic A, Vodenčarević AN, Halilbašić M, Beganović AP, Pilavdžić A. COVID-19 pandemics could cause further myopia expansion in whole world?. Sudanese J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Sep 25 ];13:11-11
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

It is well-known that myopia is a common ocular disorder, with around 2.5 billion myopic people worldwide.[1] Since the beginning of pandemics with novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, there has been increased media consumption all over the world, even in developing countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is known that children with different uncorrected refractive errors may experience different kinds of problems in life, including headache and persistent ocular discomfort, particularly for near work which can impair reading efficiency and their performance in school activities.[2]

During last year due coronavirus lockdowns all over the world, less time outdoors and more time on screens is currently leading to significantly more people suffering from myopia, especially children. We have noticed that during the lockdown, more children were forced to online school and adults were forced to work from home. We have also noticed increased use of tablets and mobile phones. Children and young adults are staring at screens even more then we already did before the pandemic with SARS-CoV-2 virus. We are expecting to have in following year's pandemic of myopia.

It is very important to emphasize that the use of these device, force our eyes to constantly focus on objects in close range inside home, and our eyes are lacking the benefits of looking into the distance. Currently, there are several studies that are analyzing the impact of pandemics. One of them by Wang et al.[3] showed that home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to be associated with a significant myopic shift for children aged 6–8 years according to 2020 school-based photo screenings.

In our country, children's indoor activities and screen time therefore increased during lockdown and their outdoor activities were decreased, often to none. A complete lockdown with home confinement took place from the beginning of March to end of May, and schools reopened in September partially, and now 1 year later, we are observing a high number of new cases of myopias. We also have observed that many children that were using atropine to control myopia have stopped using the drops. The prescription of atropine eye drops in myopic children was a standard practice in our hospital before pandemics.

As still battle with SARS-CoV-2 virus is not won, we as ophthalmologist must raise awareness about possible side effects of screens and their link with myopia. During lockdown, it was important to mention that parents should limit children recreational screen time and to take frequent breaks from the near work.

Our conclusion is that after this pandemic, we should expect increase in ophthalmic consultations for refractive disorders and amblyopia in children, adolescents, and young adults.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Navel V, Beze S, Dutheil F. CO VID-19, sweat, tears and myopia?. Clin Exp Optom 2020;103:555.
2Nadarević Vodenčarević A, Halilbašić M, Međedović A, Jusufović V, Pilavdžić A, Drljević A, et al. Refractive errors in children: Analysis among preschool and school children in Tuzla city, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Med Glas (Zenica) 2021;18:96-102.
3Wang J, Li Y, Musch DC, Wei N, Qi X, Ding G, et al. Progression of myopia in school-aged children after COVID-19 home confinement. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139:293-300.