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Jennifer Harthan, Leslie O'Dell, Justin Timothy Kwan, Milton M Hom, Scott G Hauswirth, Aubrey Schachter, Scott Schachter, Whitney Hauser, Alan Kabat; Dry Eye Symptoms and Visual Function with Digital Device Use. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2843.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Patient usage of digital devices including handheld tablets, smart phones, laptops, and computers are increasing as new technology develops and as environments adapt to these technological changes. With the increase in usage of digital devices, eye care practitioners have noted an increase in dry eye signs and symptoms. The goal of this study was to evaluate patient symptoms in correlation with digital device use.
Data was collected from the OSDI and SPEED questionnaires as well as 10 additional questions related to digital device use, vision fluctuation and contact lens wear from 7 clinical sites. Subjects who were willing to participate in this study either completed a paper copy of the questionnaire or an online version based on investigator preference. All patient information was kept confidential as each patient was identified by numberic code
Over the course of several weeks, 686 subjects from 7 clinical sites completed the questionnaires. Of those who responded, 67.16% of respondents were female and 36% were younger than age 40. For subjects <40 years old, the average number of digital devices utilized was 2.67 (+/- 1.23) and 2.32 (+/- 1.15) for those >40. The average number of hours per day spent on devices was 6.35 hours (+/- 3.24) for the <40 age group and 4.83 hours (+/-3.20) for the >40 cohort (p<0.001). Average ocular comfort score at the beginning of the day (scale of 1 to 10) for all ages was 1 (+/- 1), compared to 7 (+/- 0) for the end of the day, after digital device use; showing a positive correlation (r=0.582, p=0.000). Respondents also graded vision fluctuation (scale of1 to 10) throughout the day while using digital devices (average = 3 +/- 3). The average OSDI and SPEED scores were 9.21 (+/- 5.21) and 8.86 (+/- 6.75).
Regardless of age, patients are using an increased number of digital devices for multiple hours throughout the day contributing to dry eye symptoms and vision fluctuation. The potential adverse effect of increased digital device usage may interfere with work performance, productivity, and quality of vision.
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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