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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Visual Implications of Digital Device Usage in School Children: A Cross-Sectional Study

AUTHOR:

Parul Ichhpujani, Rohan Bir Singh, William Foulsham, Sahil Thakur, Amtoj Singh Lamba

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2019

PUBLICATION:

BMC Ophthalmology

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of digital devices, reading habits and the prevalence of eyestrain among urban Indian school children, aged 11–17.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The increased use of digital devices by adolescents brings a new challenge of digital eyestrain at an early age.

  • This 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.