Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 3921--3932

Asthenopia among university students: The eye of the digital generation


Rayah Issam Touma Sawaya1, Nour El Meski1, Joelle Bou Saba1, Chloe Lahoud1, Lea Saab1, Maya Haouili1, Malek Shatila1, Zeinab Aidibe1, Umayya Musharrafieh2 
1 Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
2 Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Correspondence Address:
Umayya Musharrafieh
Umayya Musharrafieh, MD, MPH, MHPE, Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut, P.O.Box: 11-236 Beirut
Lebanon

Background: Asthenopia or eye strain is one of the major medical problems that students face during their academic years. Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of asthenopia among a sample of university students attending various majors and to identify the risk factors for its development. Methods: This is a cross sectional study conducted on students attending various faculties at the American University of Beirut during the spring semester of 2019. Students were asked to fill a self-administered anonymous questionnaire that inquired about demographics, use of digital devices, symptoms of asthenopia, possible risk factors and protective measures. A bivariate analysis was performed to correlate asthenopia with the different variables. A multivariate analysis was then conducted to determine the extent of contribution of the different variables to asthenopia after controlling for confounding variables. Results: The prevalence of asthenopia was found to be 67.8% with blurred vision being the most reported symptom (27.0%). A bivariate analysis was used to assess the association between asthenopia and the following variables: demographics, digital device use, reasons for using digital devices, and preventive methods. Age, being a continuous variable, was analyzed using an independent t- test. For the variables that were found to be have a p-value < 0.2, a multiple logistic regression was performed. Old age was found to be a protective factor for asthenopia, with 0.693 times reduction in asthenopia for every increase in year of age. Using the device for communication for less than four hours (p=0.012), using the device for less than four hours per day (p=0.000) and pattern of using the device for less than three years (p=0.023) were significant in being negatively associated with asthenopia. As for preventative measures that protect users from digital eyestrain, we found that using eye drops (p=0.004; OR=0.375) and taking regular breaks (p=0.000; OR= 0.399) were protective factors whereas using adjustable screens was a risk factor (p=0.000; OR=3.083). Conclusion: Asthenopia was found to be of non-negligible prevalence among this sample of university students. The results of this study highlight the importance of establishing awareness campaigns and encourage the introduction of targeted screenings for asthenopia among college students.


How to cite this article:
Touma Sawaya RI, El Meski N, Saba JB, Lahoud C, Saab L, Haouili M, Shatila M, Aidibe Z, Musharrafieh U. Asthenopia among university students: The eye of the digital generation.J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:3921-3932


How to cite this URL:
Touma Sawaya RI, El Meski N, Saba JB, Lahoud C, Saab L, Haouili M, Shatila M, Aidibe Z, Musharrafieh U. Asthenopia among university students: The eye of the digital generation. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 May 15 ];9:3921-3932
Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/article.asp?issn=2249-4863;year=2020;volume=9;issue=8;spage=3921;epage=3932;aulast=Touma;type=0