|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 201-202
Commentary on “quarantine myopia:” Revisiting myopia control strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic
Jameel Rizwana Hussaindeen
Head of the Department, Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry Section, Sankara Nethralaya, Unit of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Submission||22-Jul-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||22-Jul-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||25-Aug-2020|
Dr. Jameel Rizwana Hussaindeen
Binocular Vision/Vision Therapy Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya, Unit of Medical Research Foundation, 18, College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Hussaindeen JR. Commentary on “quarantine myopia:” Revisiting myopia control strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2020;32:201-2
|How to cite this URL:|
Hussaindeen JR. Commentary on “quarantine myopia:” Revisiting myopia control strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kerala J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 29];32:201-2. Available from: http://www.kjophthal.com/text.asp?2020/32/2/201/293322
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted all aspects of life, and Myopia is no exception. Various research has shown outdoor activities and exposure to natural light to be protective against the onset of Myopia. A minimum of 1–2 h outdoor activity has been an integral aspect of myopia management., The current pandemic has impacted this profoundly, and this is most likely to impact the clinical picture of myopia, though evidences are yet to show up. Few logical options include frequent breaks during the continuous virtual lectures, attending to the virtual classes while also having access to natural light, using digital devices with larger screens to reduce the strain on the visual system, and ensuring optimal working distance. Children who use digital devices for extended hours are likely to develop dry eye-related issues as well. Ensuring frequent and complete blinking should also be part of these conservative management options.
Regarding pharmacological options for myopia control, the current evidence has made the practice of low dose 0.01% atropine as a standard myopia control option. Other optical modalities of myopia control such as specialty contact lenses, ortho-keratology, and combined strategies have not occupied the clinical practice to a large extent, but have potential scope to be explored.
Children who are on low-dose 0.01% atropine need to be followed up regularly despite the constraints such as missing online classes and travel difficulties. If they are unable to reach out to the previous eye care provider, getting the refractive error assessed locally needs to be encouraged to understand myopia progression. Tele-consultation options then can facilitate further conversation. If children show myopia progression despite the pharmacological intervention, comprehensive eye examination including documentation of ocular biometry is mandatory to plan further. It is very important to differentiate true progression from accommodative spasm and quarantine myopia through a cycloplegic refraction.
Children with a history of early-onset myopia which indicates myopia that occurs before 14 years of age and with a family history of myopia are at increased risk for myopia progression. If the myopia progression is documented to be greater than half a diopter within a year, myopia control options need to be initiated. In addition, children who have axial lengths >26 mm need to be followed up at regular intervals, as there is evidence to show that greater axial lengths increase the risk of visual impairment to 25%, compared to 3.8% risk in axial lengths <26 mm. As every diopter of myopia control matters, eye care practitioners need to provide necessary options toward myopia control, and also follow-up closely.
Eye care practitioners need to dissipate information to all concerned stakeholders about the aspects of myopia, digital eyestrain, and visual hygiene measures on a regular basis. This reinforcement will bring in a lot of awareness among the general public.
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