Myopia Onset during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Public Health Concern
Keywords:COVID-19, Children, Log MAR, Myopia
Aim: To determine the onset of myopia among age groups 4 to 24 years visiting a tertiary care hospital.
Study Design: Cross Sectional Study.
Duration and Settings of the Study: Department of ophthalmology Avicenna Medical Complex Islamabad. Study duration was 15 months from 1 April 2020 to 31 July 2021.
Methods: Participants were enrolled using consecutive sampling techniques. Sample size was calculated on time based concept. Those who fulfilling the inclusion criteria were included in the study. Myopia onset was defined as participants with Spherical Equivalent Refraction of at least -0.50DS or more on second follow-up after six month period. Ophthalmic examinations like visual acuity were done with LogMAR (Bailey Lovie Chart panel 53x60cm) and refractive status was evaluated using Retinoscopy on first visit and follow-up visit scheduled after six months of first visit for each participant. Cycloplegic refraction with Cyclopentolate 1% were performed when needed.
Results: A total of 420 subjects, including 52.62% female and 47.16% male. Pre-pandemic refractive status of all participants was 0 on first follow-up, and on second follow-up the magnitude of myopia -1.23±0.69DS. Likewise the mean corrected Visual acuity was 0.0 LogMAR (6/6) on second follow-up, while the mean uncorrected Visual acuity was 0.02 LogMAR. Statistically significant differences were observed with a CI level of 95% between the pre and post-pandemic refractive status of groups.
Conclusion: Myopia onset were acerbated by global pandemic Covid-19 and lockdown. Also the high magnitude of up to -3.50DS were observed on just 6 to 8 month follow-up which is alarming.
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Copyright (c) 2024 Saif Ullah, Mutahir Shah, Sadaf Qayyum, Sufian Ali Khan, Maryam Firdous
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