Association between time spent on smartphones and digital eye strain: A 1-year prospective observational study among Hong Kong children and adolescents

Geoffrey C. H. CHU, Lily Y. L. CHAN, Chi-wai DO, Choi Yeung Andy TSE, Teris CHEUNG, Grace P. Y. SZETO, Billy C. L. SO, Regina L.T. LEE, Paul H. LEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prolonged electronic screen use can cause digital eye strain. It can be difficult to rectify due to increasing smartphone reliance, potentially leading to serious public health problems. To investigate the association between time spent on smartphones and digital eye strain (DES) among Hong Kong Chinese school-aged children. Of a total of 1,508 students (748 males, 49.6%) from 8 to 14 years old (mean age = 10.91 years, SD = 2.01) who provided valid data on DES, the 1,298 (86%) who completed the DES questionnaire at 1-year follow-up were included in the analysis. DES was measured using a 10-item scale, and the sum of the 10 dichotomised scores was used as the DES total score. The most commonly reported symptoms were eye fatigue (n = 804, 53.3%), blurred vision (changing from reading to distance viewing) (n = 586, 38.9%), and irritated or burning eyes (n = 516, 34.2%). The DES total scores at baseline and 1-year follow-up were 2.91 (SD = 2.90) and 3.20 (SD = 3.19), respectively. Linear regression controlling for demographic and socio-economic confounders showed that participants with baseline smartphone usage of 241 + min/d had a significantly higher baseline total DES score than those with baseline smartphone usage of 0–60 min/d (2.44 vs 3.21, P 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58428-58435
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume30
Early online dateMar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Citation

Chu, G. C. H., Chan, L. Y. L., Do, C.-W., Tse, A. C. Y., Cheung, T., Szeto, G. P. Y., . . . Lee, P. H. (2023). Association between time spent on smartphones and digital eye strain: A 1-year prospective observational study among Hong Kong children and adolescents. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30, 58428-58435. doi: 10.1007/s11356-023-26258-0

Keywords

  • Smartphones
  • Blurred vision
  • Digital eye strain
  • Chinese
  • Eye fatigue
  • Longitudinal study
  • Schoolchildren
  • Adolescents

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