Digital eye strain and its associated factors in children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Demirayak B., Tugan B., Toprak M., Çinik R.

INDIAN JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.70, no.3, pp.988-992, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/ijo.ijo_1920_21
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.988-992
  • Keywords: Computer vision syndrome, COVID-19, digital eye strain, online learning, COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME, PREVALENCE, SYMPTOMS
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: This study was undertaken to identify the prevalence of symptoms related to the use of display devices and contributing factors in children engaged in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: An online electronic survey form was prepared using Google Forms (Alphabet Co., Mountain View, CA) and sent to parents of children under the age of 18 years engaged in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The types of display devices children use, how often such devices are used, the symptoms of digital eye strain, and the severity and frequency of the symptoms were recorded, and the associations between the factors were analyzed. Results: A total of 692 participants were included. The mean age of the children was 9.72 +/- 3.02 years. The most common display devices used were personal computers (n = 435, 61.7%) for online classes and smartphones (n = 400, 57.8%) for nonacademic purposes. The mean duration of display device use was 71.1 +/- 36.02 min without a break and 7.02 +/- 4.55 h per day. The most common reported symptom was headache (n = 361, 52.2%). Of the participants, 48.2% (n = 332) reported experiencing 3 or more symptoms. The multivariate analysis detected that being male (P = 0.005) and older age (P = 0.001) were independent risk factors for experiencing 3 or more symptoms. Conclusion: The increasing use of digital devices by children is exacerbating the problem of digital eye strain in children as a side effect of online learning. Public awareness should be improved.