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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51

DES epidemic during COVID-19 crisis: A cross-sectional survey to emphasize education regarding ocular health

1 Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, BRD, Medical College, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Alka Tripathi
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Kunraghat, Gorakhpur - 273 008 Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pajo.pajo_49_22

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Purpose: The use of ergonomic practices and ergonomic environment should be encouraged to combat digital eye strain (DES) symptoms. Objectives: The objective of the study was to assess the effect of online classes on ocular health of school-going children during COVID-19 crisis. Materials and Methods: An online pretested, self-reported questionnaire with relevant details was generated through Google Forms and sent to participants. Results: The most common symptoms associated with DES in our study were eyestrain, 27.4% (N = 82), and headache, 26.8% (N = 80) (P = 0.001). There was a positive correlation of number and frequency of symptoms with increasing age and class standard of participants (P = 0.001), usage of multiple screens as well as smartphones (P = 0.004), the time spent on digital screen (P = 0.00), and continuous screen time (P = 0.004). Increasing screen distance had a negative correlation to number and frequency of symptoms (P = 0.03). Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic has bought DES once again into limelight due its implications on overall physical, mental, and social health of adults as well as children. It is high time for a coordinated approach to spread education and promotion of ocular health in the community with emphasis on reduction of screen time, inculcation of ergonomic practices, and role model behavior of parents. This survey also gives an insight on the measures needed to be taken for safety of our children's ocular health, and therefore, it would reduce the stress faced by their parents.

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