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James A Kuchenbecker, Sara Patterson, Maureen Neitz, Jay Neitz; The role of video display viewing in myopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):4267.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Concern has been raised about the possible role of viewing content on video displays, such as video games, in myopia. The goal of this study was to investigate display related etiology of myopia. Choroidal thickness has been shown to be related to the magnitude of refractive error, and stimuli associated with increases in axial length and myopia progression have been shown to produce thinning of the choroid. Thus, we explored the use of measures of choroidal thickness as a biomarker for myopia progression.
Subjects were between 15 and 26 years old. Spectacle frames were given to each subject with the lens removed on one side and an opaque black occluder on the non-dominant eye. Subjects wore these frames when working at their computer workstations, which created a control eye receiving content from a video display and a test eye that did not. Subjects removed the glasses when they weren’t working at the computer and kept a log of the hours directly spent viewing their displays (~4 hours per day for 5 days). A Swept-Source (SS-) OCT (1060 +/- 50 nm) was developed to view deep into the outer eye including the choroid. B-scans through the fovea were obtained on both eyes before and after the 5-day treatment period. Finally, to correct for possible errors in magnification across imaging sessions, we measured the ratio of the choroidal area in the slice to the area of the overlying retina in the same image.
Occluded eyes not receiving video display content were 8% thicker (std err: 1.5%) than eyes receiving video display content after 5 days of wearing the spectacle frames. The choroid of the occluded eyes thickened whereas eyes that viewed video content stayed the same.
Choroidal thickness is correlated with refractive error in adults. To the extent that small changes in choroidal thickness measured here in the short term predict myopiagenic progression in the long term, monitoring changes in choroidal thickness may provide an efficient metric for evaluating the effects of video displays on myopia progression. Here, eyes not receiving content from video displays had thickened choroids relative to the eye receiving the video content. This result is consistent with a hypothesis that viewing video displays increases the rate of axial elongation and leads to myopia. Presumably, images from video games and other video display content could be filtered to reduce their contribution to myopia.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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