Our parents might have been right when they told us that watching TV all day would cause eye damage.
Scientists say nearsightedness and other vision issues are on the rise among children after they have spent over a year indoors watching TV and movies.
The Guardian reports that while it is better to entertain oneself in lockdown than the horrors of COVID-19, scientists and doctors have been closely monitoring long-term health consequences for children growing up under quarantine. They discovered that children were developing myopia (also known as shortsightedness) at 2.5 times the rate before the pandemic.
According to Jason Yam, a coauthor of the study and ophthalmologist at Chinese University of Hong Kong, the closures of schools in Hong Kong were for several months. Even recreational facilities like playgrounds, sports fields, country parks, and outdoor camping areas were also closed. Naturally, people spent more time reading, watching TV, and using computers, smartphones, and other digital devices.
Myopia is not the end of the universe. Yam warns that myopia can be a sign of worsening health problems.
Yam explained to The Guardian that while it sounds like an innocuous condition, the study found that myopia is more common in those who spend less time outdoors.