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Ocular Surface Disease

Surge in dry eye prevalence during COVID-19 pandemic linked to increased screen time

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There has been a substantial increase in the prevalence of dry eye during the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily attributed to the extended periods of screen time for work, study, and online social activities, according to a study.

The study focused on cross-sectional surveys conducted after January 1, 2020, and included data from 11 studies involving 15,692 individuals.

The findings revealed a global prevalence of dry eye during the COVID-19 pandemic of 61.0%, with Asia reporting a prevalence of 56.7%. Significant disparities were observed in dry eye prevalence concerning gender and daily visual display time. Females and individuals with a visual display time exceeding 4 hours per day exhibited a higher prevalence of dry eye symptoms.

Subgroup analyses were conducted based on diagnostic tools, study population, and average age. While significant differences were identified in diagnostic tools, there was no substantial change in heterogeneity (P <0.05). The leave-one-out method for sensitivity analysis confirmed the stability of results, and the Egger test found no significant publication bias.

Reference
Ji H, Yang Y, Lu Y, et al Prevalence of dry eye during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2023;18(12):e0288523. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0288523. PMID: 38091282; PMCID: PMC10718424.

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