Impact of screen time on digital eye strain and visual acuity among medical students in Peshawar, Pakistan

Main Article Content

Iqbal Haider
Muhammad Osama
Nazli Gul
Asad Rehman Khattak


OBJECTIVES:   To determine the impact of screen time with digital eye strain (DES), visual acuity, and near point of accommodation (NPA).

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Khyber Medical College Peshawar, Pakistan. This study included 244 students of 3rd year to 5th year MBBS, who consented to participate. A Snellen chart and Royal Air Force (RAF) rule were used to assess the visual acuity, and NPA. Chi-Square, Pearson Correlation, and multiple regression analyses were conducted using SPSS software.

RESULTS: Out of 244 participants, 181 (74.1%) reported at least one symptom of digital eye strain. Headache (n=87; 35.6%) and eye pain (n=64; 26.22%) were the most common reported symptoms. Refractive error was reported in 98 (40.16%) students, including myopia (n=86; 35.25%), hyperopia (n=12; 4.92%), and astigmatism (n=12; 4.92%). Mobile (n=244; 100%) and Laptop (n=212; 86.90%) were the main electronic gadgets used by participants. Headache, eye pain, tearing of the eyes, eye redness, and itching of the eyes were significantly associated with screen time (p<0.05). Headache, blurred vision, itching of eyes, and eye pain were significantly associated with refractive error (p<0.05). Multiple regression analysis explains a 32.9% variance in the digital eye strains.

CONCLUSION: This study reveals a concerning 74.1% prevalence of DES among medical students in Peshawar, Pakistan, emphasizing the impact of prolonged screen time on ocular health. Our study reveals a significant link between screen time and DES, with headache & eye pain being the prevalent symptoms. Associations between symptoms, screen time, and refractive errors emphasize the relevance of these factors.

Article Details

How to Cite
Haider, I., M. Osama, N. Gul, and A. R. Khattak. “Impact of Screen Time on Digital Eye Strain and Visual Acuity Among Medical Students in Peshawar, Pakistan”. KHYBER MEDICAL UNIVERSITY JOURNAL, vol. 15, no. 4, Dec. 2023, pp. 229-34, doi:10.35845/kmuj.2023.23402.
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