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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105-109

Screen exposure time and computer vision syndrome in school-age children during COVID-19 era: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Paediatrics, Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Nandita Chaturvedi
Department of Ophthalmology, Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcor.jcor_157_21

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Purpose: With the advent of COVID-19 era, teaching activities have migrated from offline to online platform. In this study, we assess whether the increased exposure to visual display terminal (VDT) devices is affecting the health of school-age children with regard to computer vision syndrome (CVS). Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out by means of an online questionnaire. Participants were students ranging from Class 1 to Class 12. Questions were posed to participants pertaining to screen exposure time, physical activity levels, dry eye symptoms, and asthenopia symptoms. The dry eye part was adapted from the 5 Item Dry Eye Questionnaire (DEQ5 questionnaire), and the asthenopia part was adapted from the questionnaire developed by Ames et al. A total of 554 students were included in the study. The data received were statistically analyzed. Results: An increase in screen exposure time during COVID era was reported by 237 (42.8%) students. The major contributors to screen usage were online classes and assignments (94% of students). The prevalence of headache was higher in students using tablet/iPad and smartphone as the VDT device. The headache, eyeache, DEQ5 scores, and asthenopia scores were significantly correlated with screen exposure time, and a significant increase was observed in parameters from pre-COVID to COVID era. Concentration span in online classes showed a positive correlation with amount of physical activity of the student. Conclusions: Dry eye, asthenopia, and musculoskeletal symptoms of CVS have increased significantly during COVID era. Screen exposure needs to be restricted and adequate attention needs to be given to physical activity.

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