June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Behavioral Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Myopic and Non-Myopic Adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hanieh Mirhajianmoghadam
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States
  • Amanda B Pina
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States
  • Lisa A Ostrin
    College of Optometry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Hanieh Mirhajianmoghadam, None; Amanda Pina, None; Lisa Ostrin, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NEI T35 EY07088, NEI R01 EY030193
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 1978. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Hanieh Mirhajianmoghadam, Amanda B Pina, Lisa A Ostrin; Behavioral Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Myopic and Non-Myopic Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):1978.

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

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Abstract

Purpose : The COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States in early 2020, affecting day to day life for adults and children. Secondary to quarantine and lockdown measures, many people have had to spend more time in their home and carry out activities virtually, not only for work, but also for social interactions and daily tasks, such as grocery shopping. Increased time indoors and electronic device use may ultimately impact sleep/wake patterns and, in younger adults, potentially eye growth and myopia progression. Our goal was to compare subjective measures of daily behaviors in myopic and non-myopic adults during the summer COVID-19 pandemic to their behaviors prior to the pandemic.

Methods : Adults (ages 40.5±5.5 years, n=66) completed a questionnaire regarding their demographics, ocular history, and behaviors for summer 2020, as well as for before the COVID-19 pandemic. Subjects were asked to estimate the time spent per day on various activities, such as hand held and traditional electronic device use, time spent outdoors, and sleep. Data were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA for session (COVID-19 vs pre-COVID-19), day of week (weekdays vs weekends), and refractive error group (myopic vs non-myopic).

Results : During the COVID-19 pandemic, participants spent more time doing near work compared to pre-COVID-19 (4.5±0.4 vs 4.1±0.3 hours per day, respectively, P=.026). Additionally, on weekdays, participants demonstrated increased electronic device use during COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID-19 (9.9±0.5 vs 8.9±0.5 hours per day, respectively, P=.008). On weekdays, sleep duration significantly increased by 36 minutes during COVID-19 (P<.001). Time spent outdoors and in physical activities were not significantly different between sessions (P>.05 for all). For all metrics, there were no significant differences by refractive error group.

Conclusions : COVID-19-related quarantine measures changed adults’ behaviors compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on self-report, near work and use of electronic devices increased during COVID-19, whereas physical activity and time outdoors were not significantly different compared to pre-COVID-19. There were no differences in behaviors between myopes and non-myopes. Depending on temporal characteristics of artificial light exposure from the reported increase in electronic device use, sleep/wake patterns and circadian rhythm may ultimately be affected.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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