Singapore highlights “screen time” as a risk factor for myopia in children

Singaporean start-up Plano plans to develop and implement educational and technological interventions to tackle the global myopia epidemic

A major global study linking the use of smart digital devices (smartphones and tablets) to myopia in children was released today by an international collaboration led by researchers in Singapore.

The study – a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis – also included global experts in eye health and the epidemiology of Australia, the United Kingdom and China, and has been published in The Lancet Digital Health, one of the world’s leading peer-reviewed medical journals.

The authors used a benchmark approach to collect all of the research ever published on the link between smart device screen exposure and myopia. After analyzing and statistically combining the available studies, they revealed the most compelling evidence to date implicating digital devices, particularly screen time, as a risk factor for myopia in children.

High levels of screen time on smart devices were associated with an almost 30% higher risk of myopia, and when excessive screen time was added it increased to almost 80%.

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