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Joan K. Portello, Mark Rosenfield, Daniel Recko; Effect Of A Topical Lubricant On Symptoms Of Computer Vision Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5566.
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Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a complex of eye and vision problems related to computer use which has been reported in up to 90% of computer workers. Ocular symptoms may include asthenopia, accommodative and vergence difficulties and dry eye, with the latter resulting either from increased corneal exposure or a decrease in blink rate and/or blink amplitude during computer use. The aim of this study was to determine whether instillation of a topical ocular lubricant would reduce symptoms associated with CVS.
25 young subjects read cognitively-demanding text from a desktop computer screen at a viewing distance of 50cm for a continuous 20 min period. Before the computer task, two drops of either saline or polyethylene glycol (0.25%), an ocular lubricant were instilled into the eye on a double-blind basis. Immediately following completion of the near task, ocular symptoms were assessed by means of a written questionnaire. Additionally, symptoms of dry eye were quantified using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI).
A significant positive correlation was observed between the total symptom score following the computer task and OSDI (r = 0.44; p = 0.001). The total CVS symptom score following the saline and lubricant conditions was 12.00 and 11.36, respectively (p = 0.79). Mean OSDI was 10.4 (SEM=1.40) which represents a very low level of dry eye symptoms. When considering the effect of the topical lubricant on the 8 subjects having the highest OSDI values (mean = 25.1, SEM= 2.41), again the topical lubricant produced no significant change in symptoms. The total CVS symptom score following the saline and lubricant conditions was 19.88 and 18.50, respectively (p = 0.85).
Symptoms following computer work showed a significant correlation with an index of dry eye. However, instillation of a topical lubricating agent failed to reduce these symptoms, even in those subjects with the highest OSDI.
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