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Digital eye strain: prevalence and associated factors among information technology professionals, Egypt

Abstract

Digital eye strain (DES) is a growing occupational and public health problem and one of the most frequent reasons for seeking medical care. The objectives of this study are to identify the prevalence and to study some associated personal, ergonomic, and environmental factors of DES among information technology (IT) professionals at Tanta University, Egypt. An interview questionnaire was used to collect data related to socio-demographic, job, ergonomic and environmental characteristics. Computer vision syndrome questionnaire (CVS-Q) was used for the assessment of DES. It was used to measure ocular and visual symptoms related to computer use. CVS-Q includes 16 symptoms that are scored using two rating scales, one for frequency and the other for intensity. A total of 108 IT professionals were included. Prevalence of DES was 82.41%. The most common symptoms were headache (81.5%), burning of the eye (75.9%), and blurred vision (70.4%). Significant predictors of DES were female gender (OR = 2.845), age ≥ 35 years (OR = 1.112), daily computer use more than 6 h (OR = 1.351), duration of work more than 10 years (OR = 1.793), wearing corrective glasses (OR = 5.009), distance from the monitor less than 20 in. (OR = 4.389), not using antiglare screen (OR = 0.214), no brightness adjustment of screen (OR = 0.015), not taking break time during computer work (OR = 0.007), exposure to air pollution (OR = 5.667), use of the air conditioner (OR = 23.021), and exposure to windy environments (OR = 3.588). Prevalence of DES was found to be high among IT professionals. Significant predictors of DES were female gender, older age, wearing eyeglasses, long duration of computer use, unadjusted ergonomic workstation, and dry environment. DES is a problem that can be prevented by increasing knowledge and awareness about DES by providing computer users with eye health education, periodic training on a proper ergonomic computer workstation, and adjustment of the suitable comfortable workplace environment.

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Authors

Contributions

Hanaa Abdelaziz Zayed: selection of the idea of the research paper, participated in data collection and statistical analysis of data, and she was a major contributor in writing and revision of the manuscript; Shimaa Mohammad Saied: conceptualization of the study, shared in writing, statistical analysis of data, and editing and revision of the manuscript. Eman Ali Younis: participated in data collection and writing of the paper. Salwa Abd Elmagid Atlam: shared in writing and revision of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hanaa Abdelaziz Mohamed Zayed.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This study was approved by Tanta Faculty of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (REC).

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Informed written consent was taken from all study participants.

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Zayed, H.A.M., Saied, S.M., Younis, E.A. et al. Digital eye strain: prevalence and associated factors among information technology professionals, Egypt. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 25187–25195 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12454-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12454-3

Keywords

  • Digital eye strain
  • Information technology professionals
  • Weather