Visual implications of digital device usage in school children: a cross-sectional study. BMC Ophthalmol 2019;19(1):76.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of digital devices, reading habits and the prevalence of eyestrain among urban Indian school children, aged 11-17 years. METHODS: The study included 576 adolescents attending urban schools who were surveyed regarding their electronic device usage. Additional information on the factors that may have an effect on ocular symptoms was collected. RESULTS: Twenty percent of students aged 11 in the study population use digital devices on a daily basis, in comparison with 50% of students aged 17. In addition to using these devices as homework aids, one third of study participants reported using digital devices for reading instead of conventional textbooks. The majority of students preferred sitting on a chair while reading (77%; 445 students), with only 21% (123 students) preferring to lie on the bed and 8 students alternating between chair and bed. There was a significant association between the students who preferred to lie down and those who experienced eyestrain, as reported by a little over one fourth of the student population (27%). Out of 576 students, 18% (103) experienced eyestrain at the end of the day after working on digital devices. CONCLUSIONS: The increased use of digital devices by adolescents brings a new challenge of digital eyestrain at an early age. Our study reports the patterns of electronic device usage by school children, evaluates factors associated with eyestrain and highlights the need for further investigation of these issues.