Baseline characteristics of nearwork-induced transient myopia

Optom Vis Sci. 2012 Dec;89(12):1725-33. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3182775e05.


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to describe the baseline refractive and nearwork-induced transient myopia (NITM) characteristics of the Beijing Myopia Progression Study, a 3-year cohort study, that has three overall specific aims: to investigate the natural history of NITM in schoolchildren living in the inner city of Beijing aged between 7 and 17 years; to investigate the possible relation between NITM and permanent myopia; and to determine the possible associations with NITM (eg, parental history).

Methods: Three hundred eighty-six students (187 males and 199 females) were enrolled. The mean ages were 8.4 ± 1.1 years and 14.2 ± 1.6 years for the primary school and secondary school students, respectively. Baseline refractive aspects were determined clinically. Initial NITM and its decay were assessed objectively immediately after binocularly viewing and performing a sustained near task (5 minutes; 5 diopters [D]), incorporating a cognitive demand with full distance refractive correction in place.

Results: Initial NITM (mean ± SD) / decay time (median, first quartile, and third quartile) was 0.18 ± 0.16 D / 50 (20, 90) seconds, 0.09 ± 0.13 D / 30 (10, 40) seconds, and 0.10 ± 0.19 D / 20 (10, 40) seconds among the myopic, emmetropic, and hyperopic students, respectively, for the combined school levels. Initial NITM and decay time were significantly larger/longer in the myopic versus the other two refractive groups.

Conclusions: The present findings demonstrate that in a large sample of school-aged children with myopia, the initial NITM magnitude was significantly larger and the decay duration was significantly longer than that observed in age-matched children with either emmetropia or hyperopia. Follow-up for the next 3 years will provide insight into the possible role of NITM in the development of permanent myopia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myopia / diagnosis
  • Myopia / physiopathology*
  • Refraction, Ocular*