Background: Work and related activities may be connected to myopia development and progression. We investigated the relationship between working activities and the onset as well as worsening of myopia.
Methods: Information on the working status of the mothers of 374 children, the number of hours of close-up work activity, and whether the mother was short-sighted, was obtained by a face-to-face interview. In addition, a subsample of 84 mothers was interviewed over the telephone and asked whether the myopia occurred in adulthood and, if so, the age of cessation of myopia.
Results: The adjusted odds ratio for myopia in working women was 1.9 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2 to 3.2] and the adjusted odds ratio for high myopia (> -6.0 D) was 1.6 (95% CI 0.8 to 3.0). Women who were working also had higher rates of adult-onset myopia, odds ratio 4.4 (95% CI 0.9 to 21.2), and a later age of cessation of myopia than nonworking women.
Conclusions: In our study, work was related to myopia in Singapore women. Work may be a surrogate for another risk factor, close-up work activities such as reading, writing, and computer use.