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Journal Scan

Online classes lead to increased digital eye strain in students

Posted on January 4, 2021

The prevalence of digital eye stain has increased with the additional hours spent taking online classes due to the pandemic, according to a study.

An online survey of 941 participants, including 688 students taking online classes, 45 teachers teaching online classes, and 208 participants from the general population was used to calculate DES scores.  

Compared to pre-pandemic, screen times use increased during the pandemic.

Eye strain was highest amongst students taking online classes (50.6%) compared to the general population (33.2%). The DES score was highest in students taking online classes, participants with eye diseases, participants with greater screen time, participants with a screen distance <20 cm, participants who used gadgets in dark, and participants who took infrequent/no breaks.

Scores were proportional to the increased screen time use during the pandemic. 

The authors concluded that “There is a need to educate people about limiting overall screen exposure and ergonomic methods of screen viewing. Efforts from policymakers to reduce the duration of online classes for students and online work hours for professionals are warranted to control this epidemic of eye strain.

Reference
Ganne P, Najeeb S, Chaitanya G, et al. Digital eye strain epidemic amid COVID-19 pandemic – A cross-sectional survey. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2020;1-8. DOI: 10.1080/09286586.2020.1862243. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33369521.

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