A new study published in a leading medical journal reveals screen time linked to Myopia in children and young adults.

Screen Time Linked to Myopia in Children

Published in October this year (2021) in The Lancet Digital Health, the study was undertaken by researchers and eye health experts from Singapore, Australia, China and the UK, including Professor Rupert Bourne from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). They examined more than 3,000 studies investigating smart device exposure and myopia in children and young adults aged between 3 months old and 33 years old.

The authors revealed that high levels of smart device screen time, such as looking at a mobile phone, is associated with around a 30% higher risk of myopia and, when combined with excessive computer use, that risk rises to around 80%. Their research comes as millions of children around the world have spent substantial time using remote learning methods following the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor of Ophthalmology in the Vision and Eye Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Professor Bourne,  said:

“Around half the global population is expected to have myopia by 2050, so it is a health concern that is escalating quickly. Our study is the most comprehensive yet on this issue and shows a potential link between screen time and myopia in young people.

“This research comes at a time when our children have been spending more time than ever looking at screens for long periods, due to school closures, and it is clear that urgent research is needed to further understand how exposure to digital devices can affect our eyes and vision. We also know that people underestimate their own screen time, so future studies should use objective measures to capture this information.”

Our Comprehensive Eye Examination

If you are concerned about screen time linked to myopia in your children or yourself, be sure to get regular examinations. At Advanced Eyecare Optometry, our doctors are thoroughly trained in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vision disorders and eye disease.

  • Measurement of eyeglass prescription, eye alignment, and focusing ability at distance, computer, and reading distances.
  • Ocular/neurological pupil testing and eye movement/tracking evaluation.
  • Measurement of peripheral vision sensitivity.
  • External ocular health evaluation and testing for the presence of dry eye, ocular allergies, and viral or bacterial infections.
  • Internal ocular health evaluation – examination for the presence of any internal eye diseases, including cataract, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and peripheral retinal degenerations.
  • Optomap wide-angle retinal imaging – offered free of charge for all children under 18 years of age.

For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.



Materials provided by Anglia Ruskin University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.