July 2018
Volume 59, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2018
Myths and Misconceptions of Chinese Eye Exercises Among School Age Children: A Population-based, Prospective Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine Jan
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
    Beijing Tongren Eye Research Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China
  • Nathan G Congdon
    Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Shi-Ming Li
    Beijing Tongren Eye Research Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China
  • Ian Morgan
    Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • Ningli Wang
    Beijing Tongren Eye Research Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Catherine Jan, None; Nathan Congdon, None; Shi-Ming Li, None; Ian Morgan, None; Ningli Wang, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  National Natural Science Foundation of China 81120108807
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 3398. doi:
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      Catherine Jan, Nathan G Congdon, Shi-Ming Li, Ian Morgan, Ningli Wang; Myths and Misconceptions of Chinese Eye Exercises Among School Age Children: A Population-based, Prospective Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):3398.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : The Chinese government mandates that every school going child perform eye exercises, a massage applied to the accupoints around the orbit, designed to reduce myopia progression. Some claim that many Chinese parents and even some teachers mistaken performing eye exercises as a substitute of glasses wear in correcting myopia. We sought to investigate the effect of eye exercises on 1) myopia onset and progression, and 2) glasses wear among school children.

Methods : 2364 grade 7 children from four public schools in Hebei Province, China, were recruited. Participants underwent cycloplegic refraction at baseline and 1 year later, and surveys on glasses wear and key aspects of eye exercises that are deemed important by traditional Chinese medicine experts. Single and multiple regression models with data from the better-seeing eye were used to investigate the effect of potential baseline predictors on myopia onset, progression and glasses wear over 1 year, adjusting for a range of demographic covariates and predictors of myopia such as near work and outdoor time.

Results : Among 2364 children, 1553 (65.7%, 50.6% boys, mean age 12.7±0.48 years) completed baseline refraction, and 1404 (90.4%) had data on refractive error or axial length at one year. Among 609 children without myopia at baseline, 113 (18.6%) developed myopia during follow-up. After adjusting for potential confounders, myopia onset was not significantly associated with performance or adequacy of or knowledge about eye exercises. Furthermore, eye exercises were not associated with 1-year progression among 786 children with myopia at baseline. Compared to children performing eye excises <8 times/week, those performing 8-10 times /week had less axial elongation (univariate p=0.032, multivariate p=0.041). Glasses wear was not significantly associated with any aspect of eye exercises.

Conclusions : Although eye exercises did not prevent myopia in this setting, neither did they prevent children from wearing glasses when needed.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.

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