Translated from the original version in Dutch ‘Quarantaine-Myopie’
In Dutch we have a saying:
‘Oost-West – Thuis-Best’
– meaning there is nothing quite like home. As an experienced ‘home-worker’ the pros and cons of working from home are not new to me. But the latter (the cons) become extra clear in the current home-quarantine situation. Or as one of my neighbors with small kids exclaimed yesterday: ‘If I could have explained my idea of personal hell before last week, then no sport to watch, no gym, no pub and 2 kids at home all day - comes pretty close to it’.
In China, of all places the cradle of the alarming virus that is hitting us, the Clouclip has been developed. It is like exponential ‘parental monitoring’. The tiny little camera is attached to the child’s frame, while it monitors not just the hours (minutes) of outdoor play and the amount of sunlight but also monitors the exact near-activity distance. The parents get a report at the end of the day of the exact child’s activities. Potentially something to consider for all of us in home-quarantine these days.
A study in China lets kids in a rural environment, in a provincial-village and in a metropole wear this Clouclip. It was clear that kids in the rural environment scored a lower number of near-work activity and more sunlight exposure than kids in the village.
This was true more-over in the metropolitan. And – surprise – the amount of myopia was larger there than in the village and in the rural environment.
If we elongate this – to stay in myopic terms – to the current situation of ‘homeschooling’ our kids, then let’s claim two new terms: quarantine-myopia and homeschooling-myopia. Maybe they can be put on the shortlist of ‘word of the year award’ in the eyecare field. However, this could be a worry if our kids stay indoors all day. Having said that – we have to wait a little while before we can see the consequences of that in the long run.
*also Vivior in Europe (Editor's note)
I notice when speaking to parents of young-myopes, that the urgency of intervention is often not obvious to them. As long as we don’t feel the consequences directly, it is hard to take action apparently. Isn’t this like with global warming and our environment? Regarding myopia: see the article by Kate Gifford in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye: what risk is larger, one on acute problems due to contact lens wear (that can potentially slow down myopia progression) – or the chance on myopic retinopathy later in life?
This series Eef@online series is kindly supported by an educational grant from Contamac
- Refractive Error and Visual Impairment in School Children in Rural Southern China. He M, Huang W, Zheng Y, Huang L, Ellwein LB. Ophthalmology 2007:114(2):374-82 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31772826
- Objectively measured near work, outdoor exposure and myopia in children. Wen L, Cao Y, Cheng Q, Li X, Pan L, Li L, Zhu H, Lan W, Yang Z. Br J Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb 19 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32075819
- Childhood and lifetime risk comparison of myopia control with contact lenses. Gifford KL. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2020 Feb;43(1):26-32 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31796370