Prevalence of self-reported computer vision syndrome symptoms and its associated factors among university students.
Purpose: To determine the prevalence of symptoms of computer vision syndrome and to identify its associated factors. The secondary objective was to assess knowledge and practices related to preventing computer vision syndrome symptoms.
Methods: The data for this cross-sectional study were collected through a self-administered questionnaire distributed to 713 female undergraduates studying business and medicine in Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire included computer vision syndrome validated symptoms and factors associated with computer vision syndrome development.
Results: The most common symptom due to prolonged computer use was neck or shoulder pain, reported by 82.2% of the subjects. Overall, 66.5% of the subjects suffered from headache and 51.5% from dry eyes, in mild, moderate, or severe form. Business students were 1.6 times as likely as medical students to suffer from computer vision syndrome (odds ratio = 1.65; 95% confidence interval: 1.22, 2.24). The use of electronic devices for more than 5 h (odds ratio = 1.52; 95% confidence interval: 1.07, 2.16) was also associated with experiencing computer vision syndrome symptoms. Regarding computer vision syndrome prevention, factors such as hours of use, screen distance, screen brightness, and room illumination showed statistically significant difference between the two groups (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The prevalence of computer vision syndrome symptoms was significantly higher among business students, who reported lower awareness and poor practice measures of computer use recommendations. Relevant awareness campaigns focusing on the appropriate use of computers are highly recommended.