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News & Events > News & Events > World Sight Day 2020 - Myopia Progression during the COVID-19 Outbreak
News & Events

World Sight Day 2020 - Myopia Progression during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Date: 29 Sep 2020

Echoing the theme “Hope in Sight” of the World Sight Day 2020 and concerning the increasing screen time of schoolchildren during the outbreak of COVID-19, the School and the other five local optometrist associations surveyed on students’ vision.

The poll conducted by the School and the other five local optometrist associations, including the Eye Foundation, the Hong Kong Association of Private Practice Optometrists, the Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists, the Hong Kong Contact Lens Research Association and the Hong Kong Academy of Orthokeratology, found that students spent around 10 hours a day using electronic devices during class suspension between February and May – 1.1 times more than before. Participants also saw short-sightedness levels increase by an average of minus 0.87 diopters, 16% higher than the usual minus 0.75 diopters.

Dr Dennis Tse, Associate Professor of the School, shared, “Myopia is not just a problem that requires refractive error correction. High myopia would increase the risk of a variety of eye diseases which may cause permanent visual impairment and blindness.” Professor George Woo, Emeritus Professor of the School, said, "Myopia control should be implemented on school children as early as possible to prevent high myopia from causing a huge medical burden to parents and the government.” He suggested that the Department of Health to consider strengthening the school children’s vision screening program to facilitate early identification and timely follow-up."

The optometrists associations recommend parents to arrange regular eye exam for children and consider myopia control options if needed.

Dr Dennis Tse, Associate Professor shared the consequences of high myopia in the press conference.

Prof. George Woo urged the government to consider strengthening the school children’s vision screening program