Study: Pandemic may have indirectly increased nearsightedness in kids

A new study suggests more children may have developed nearsightedness as a result of the pandemic.

Researchers in Hong Kong studied the eyes of nearly 1,800 children ages 6 through 8. About 700 had joined the study at the beginning of the pandemic, while the rest were part of an ongoing study.

Nearly a fifth of the COVID-19 group developed nearsightedness, or myopia, compared to 37% of the children in the pre-pandemic group.

The study authors say the increase among the pandemic group coincided with less time spent outdoors and an increase in screen time.

The scientists say this was an observational study, and can’t establish cause.