ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

A cross-sectional survey of the effects of digital screens on the vision of adolescents


Introduction. Digital eye strain is a new clinical syndrome that affects any person who spends a large period of time fixed on multiple screens, for work or leisure.
The objective of the study was to analyze the effects of using different digital devices on the visual system of adolescent school children.
Material and methods. One hundred questionnaire were handed out in two outpatient ophthalmic clinics in Stara Zagora and Kazanlak, Bulgaria, to high school students aged between 13 and 18 years. From these questionnaires, 82 were fit for analysis and were used in our study. SPSS 19 was used for statistical analysis.
Results. The results showed that only 3.7% of adolescents did not use a smartphone and 75.6% of them spent more than two hours a day using one. 72% of the participants had at least two or more symptoms of digital eye strain. The most commonly reported symptoms were headache (65.9%), eye strain (54.9%) and blurred vision (53.7%). The time spent using a smartphone was strongly associated with eye redness and had positive correlation with the frequency and severity of burning, eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, photophobia, heavy eyelids, eye pain and difficulty focusing. Females had more symptoms of digital eye strain compared to male participants. Mild headaches were more common in adolescents playing video games more than six hours a week.
Conclusions. The risk of developing digital eye strain in adolescents is very serious due to the wide use of smartphones in this age group.
Keywords: eye strain, questionnaire, children, smartphone, video game

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Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty, Trakia University
Address: 2 Gen Stoletov, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


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Yoztyurk TR, Slaveykov KS, Trifonova KZ. A cross-sectional survey of the effects of digital screens on the vision of adolescents. Arch Balk Med Union. 2024;59(1):23-30.