PURPOSE. To investigate visual activities before and after the onset of juvenile myopia. METHODS. The subjects were 731 incident myopes (-0.75 D or more myopia on cycloplegic autorefraction in both meridians) and 587 emmetropes (between -0.25 and +1.00 D) in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error (CLEERE) Study. Parents supplied visual activity data annually. Data from myopic children 5 years before through 5 years after myopia onset were compared to data from age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched models of children who remained emmetropic. RESULTS. Hours per week spent reading or using a computer/playing video games did not differ between the groups before myopia onset; however, hours per week for both activities were significantly greater in myopes than in emmetropes at onset and in 4 of the 5 years after onset by 0.7 to 1.6 hours per week. Hours per week spent in outdoor/sports activities were significantly fewer for children who became myopic 3 years before onset through 4 years after onset by 1.1 to 1.8 hours per week. Studying and TV watching were not significantly different before myopia onset. CONCLUSIONS. Before myopia onset, near work activities of future myopic children did not differ from those of emmetropes. Those who became myopic had fewer outdoor/sports activity hours than the emmetropes before, at, and after myopia onset. Myopia onset may influence children's near work behavior, but the lack of difference before onset argues against a major causative role for near work. Less outdoor/sports activity before myopia onset may exert a stronger influence on development than near work.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience