Sleep and Biological Rhythms

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 315–322 | Cite as

A comparison of ocular complaints and their relationship with sleepiness between professional and non-professional computer users

  • Mohammad Hossein Ebrahimi
  • Mina Shayestefar
  • Ghazale Firoozi
  • Samane Ghadamgahi
Original Article


This study was conducted to investigate ocular complications and their relationship with sleep problems between IT students at Shahroud University of Technology as professional computer users and public health students at Shahroud University of Medical Sciences as non-professional computer users. This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014–2015 on 290 students, including 145 IT and 145 public health students. The students were selected by simple random sampling. Data were collected using five questionnaires, including a demographic questionnaire, the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), the Visual Fatigue Questionnaire, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and the STOP-BANG, and an examination for visual acuity. Data were analyzed in SPSS-22 using descriptive and inferential statistics and the level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. The comparisons showed a significant difference in the mean scores of the OSDI, VFQ and ESS between the male and female students, as all these scores were higher in the female students; however, no significant differences were observed in these scores between the professional and non-professional users. Given the significant direct relationships between the scores of the four questionnaires, it can be argued that sleep disorders and ocular disorders have reciprocal effects on each other. Sleepiness, dry eye and eye strain were not different between the groups of professional and non-professional computer users, but long hours of computer and cellphone use were observed so all students need to receive further education and correct ergonomics regardless of their field of study.


Visual fatigue Dry eye syndromes Sleep Computers Asthenopia Eye strain 



Our deepest gratitude and appreciation to School of public Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran, and Student Research Committee, School of public Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.


This study was supported by grant No 9399 from Shahroud University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This study was supported by School of public Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.


  1. 1.
    Davey S, Davey A. Assessment of smartphone addiction in Indian adolescents: a mixed method study by systematic‑review and meta‑analysis approach. Int J Prev Med. 2015;12:1500–11.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ching SM, Yee A, Ramachandran V, et al. Validation of a Malay Version of the Smartphone Addiction Scale among Medical Students in Malaysia. PLoS One. 2015. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kim SE, Kim JW, Jee YS. Relationship between smartphone addiction and physical activity in Chinese international students in Korea. J. Behav. Addict. 2015. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Porcar E, Pons AM, Lorente A. Visual and ocular effects from the use of flat-panel displays. Int J Ophthalmol. 2016. Scholar
  5. 5.
    Habibi E, Pourabdian S, Rajabi H, Dehghan H, Maracy MR. Development and validation of a visual fatigue questionnaire for video display terminal users. Int J Prev Med. 2011;5:841–8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vilela MA, Pellanda LC, Fassa AG, Castagno VD. Prevalence of asthenopia in children: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Pediatr. 2015. Scholar
  7. 7.
    Park CY, Gu N, Lim CY, et al. The effect of Vaccinium uliginosum extract on tablet computer-induced asthenopia: randomized placebo-controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rajeev A, Gupta A, Sharma M. Visual fatigue and computer use among college students. Indian J Community Health. 2006;31:192–3.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ustinaviciene R, Obelenis V, Ereminas D. Occupational health problems in modern work environment. Medicina (kaunas). 2004;40:897–904.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Blehm C, Vishnu S, Khattak A, Mitra S. Yee, R. W. Computer vision syndrome: a review. Surv Ophthalmol. 2005;50:253–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Thorud HM, Helland M, Aarås A, Kvikstad TM, Lindberg LG, Horgen G. Eye-related pain induced by visually demanding computer work. Optom. Vis Sci. 2012. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Uchino M, Yokoi N, Uchino Y, et al. Prevalence of dry eye disease and its risk factors in visual display terminal users: the Osaka study. Am J Ophthalmol. 2013. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Collier JD, Rosenfield M. Accommodation and convergence during sustained computer work. Optometry. 2011. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haji-Ali-Nili N, Khoshzaban F, Karimi M. Lifestyle determinants on prevention and improvement of dry eye disease from the perspective of Iranian traditional medicine. Iran J Med Sci. 2016;41:S39.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Portello JK, Rosenfield M, Chu CA. Blink rate, incomplete blinks and computer vision syndrome. Optom Vis Sci. 2013. Scholar
  16. 16.
    Biswas NMR, Nainiwal SK, Das GKN, et al. Comparative randomised controlled clinical trial of a herbal eye drop with artificial tear and placebo in computer vision syndrome. J Indian Med Assoc. 2003;101:208–9, 212.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yland J, Guan S, Emanuele E, Hale L. Interactive vs passive screen time and nighttime sleep duration among school-aged children. Sleep Health. 2015;1:191–6.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Catalán P, Martínez A, Herrejón Aet al. Internal consistency and validity of the Spanish version of the quality of life questionnaire specific for obstructive sleep apnea: Sleep Apnea Quality of Life Index. Arch Bronconeumol. 2012. Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sadeghniiat Haghighi K, Montazeri A, Khajeh Mehrizi A, et al. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale: translation and validation study of the Iranian version. Sleep Breath. 2013. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gay PC. Sleep and sleep-disordered breathing in the hospitalized patient. Respir Care. 2010;55:1240–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Luo J, Huang R, Zhong X, Xiao Y, Zhou J. Value of STOP-Bang questionnaire in screening patients with obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome in sleep disordered breathing clinic. Chin Med J (Engl). 2013;127:1843–8.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sadeghniiat-Haghighi K, Montazeri A, Khajeh-Mehrizi A, et al. The STOP-BANG questionnaire: reliability and validity of the Persian version in sleep clinic population. Qual Life Res. 2015. Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kumar S, Bhatia M, Behari M. Excessive daytime sleepiness in Parkinson’s disease as assessed by Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Sleep Med. 2003;4:339–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kong IG, Lee HJ, Kim SY, Sim S, Choi HG. Physical activity, study sitting time, leisure sitting time, and sleep time are differently associated with obesity in Korean adolescents: a population-based study. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015. Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ousler GW 3rd ., Rodriguez JD, Smith LM, et al. Optimizing Reading Tests for Dry Eye Disease. Cornea. 2015. Scholar
  26. 26.
    Loughran SP, McKenzie RJ, Jackson ML, Howard ME, Croft RJ. Individual differences in the effects of mobile phone exposure on human sleep: rethinking the problem. Bioelectromagnetics. 2012. Scholar
  27. 27.
    Danker-Hopfe H, Dorn H, Bolz T, et al. Effects of mobile phone exposure (GSM 900 and WCDMA/UMTS) on polysomnography based sleep quality: An intra- and inter-individual perspective. Environ Res. 2016. Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kawashima M, Yamatsuji M, Yokoi N, et al. Screening of dry eye disease in visual display terminal workers during occupational health examinations: the Moriguchi Study. J Occup Health. 2015. Scholar
  29. 29.
    Drakatos P, Ghiassi R, Jarrold I, et al. The use of an online pictorial Epworth Sleepiness Scale in the assessment of age and gender specific differences in excessive daytime sleepiness. J Thorac Dis. 2015. Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sogebi OA, Oyewole EA, Olusoga-Peters OO. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) experiences associated with snoring in adult Nigerians. Afr Health Sci. 2011;11:309–14.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Morrell MJ, Finn L, McMillan A, Peppard PE. The impact of ageing and sex on the association between sleepiness and sleep disordered breathing. Eur Respir J. 2012. Scholar
  32. 32.
    Filtness AJ, Anund A, Fors C, Ahlstrom C, Akerstedt T, Kecklund G. Sleep-related eye symptoms and their potential for identifying driver sleepiness. J Sleep Res. 2014. Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Sleep Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Hossein Ebrahimi
    • 1
  • Mina Shayestefar
    • 2
  • Ghazale Firoozi
    • 3
  • Samane Ghadamgahi
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental and Occupational Health Research CenterShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  2. 2.School of Allied Medical SciencesSemnan University of Medical SciencesSemnanIran
  3. 3.Student Research Committee, School of Public HealthShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran

Personalised recommendations