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Pete S Kollbaum, Dawn Meyer, Sandra Huenink, Martin Rickert, Paul Chamberlain, Lee Hall; Digital device user survey of eye fatigue. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1492.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous reports have indicated that “eyestrain” or “eye fatigue” occurs in roughly 60% of both the student and working populations using digital devices, and these symptoms were demonstrated to cause a significant decrease in quality of life. However, the symptoms that encompass these reports of eye fatigue are poorly understood. The aim of the current study was to quantify symptoms most frequently associated with reports of eye fatigue in those using digital devices.
Three hundred and four naïve asymptomatic soft contact lens (SCL) wearing subjects completed a preliminary questionnaire providing a subset of common symptoms associated with habitually experienced digital device related eye fatigue. These questions explored the frequency and severity ratings of symptoms experienced when choosing from ten predefined symptom terms.
The survey items demonstrated good internal consistency (alpha>0.70) and were found to differentiate groups based on symptomology frequency. Based on the survey responses, overall, 88% of the subjects reported habitually experiencing eye fatigue once or more per month, while 74% reported experiencing eye fatigue at least once per week. Dryness, eye irritation, eye strain, and tired eyes were the symptoms most frequently reported and reported with the greatest severity. The symptoms clustered into 3 groups according to their correlation with each other, and the within-symptom correlation of severity and frequency. Principal component factor analysis found a similar result. Specifically, strain, soreness, tiredness, and headache compose a “primary sensations” factor, whereas burning, irritation, and dryness compose a “secondary sensations” factor, and blurring/doubling and moving/floating compose a “visual sensations” factor.
Frequent and severe eye fatigue is highly prevalent amongst a population of SCL wearers using digital devices. Key descriptors of eye fatigue have been identified and can be used to help identify and evaluate specific causative, palliative, or ameliorating factors.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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