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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4

Exposure to electronic gadgets and refractive errors among adolescents: A case–control study

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, SDUAHER, Kolar, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, PESIMSR, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
N Inchara
House No. 01, G Block, Staff Quarters, SDUMC Campus, Tamaka, Kolar - 563 103, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pajo.pajo_68_22

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Introduction: The increasing use of electronic gadgets (e-gadgets) has dramatically changed the adolescent lifestyle. There are rising concerns about the ill effects of the high usage of illuminated screens on vision, especially in adolescents. Objectives: The objective was to explore the pattern of e-gadget use and its association with refractive errors (REs) among adolescents. Methods: A case–control study was carried out among adolescents attending a tertiary care hospital. Adolescents with REs (cases) were compared with those without REs (controls) based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Two hundred matched adolescents (case-to-control ratio 1:1) were interviewed for exposure history to e-gadget use and pattern. The Chi-square test and odds ratio (OR) were calculated to find the association between e-gadget use and REs. Results: Age (17.3 ± 3.4 vs. 16.8 ± 3.3 years) and gender distribution between cases and controls were comparable. The e-gadget exposure among cases was higher than in controls (OR 1.4 P > 0.05); however, it is the duration of e-gadget exposure for >5 years was significantly higher among the cases (OR 4.6 P < 0.05). During e-gadget usage, sitting posture (OR 7.5 P < 0.05), poor lighting, indoor activity, and irregular sleep patterns were higher among cases. The purpose of using e-gadgets was predominantly for social media and browsing in cases and the educational or reading purpose among controls. Conclusion: Lesser duration, correct posture, and proper purpose of exposure to e-gadget are associated with lesser risk for REs. Results highlight the collective role of adolescents, parents, teachers, and doctors in education and lifestyle modification on e-gadget use.

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