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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 149

Smartphone use and its impact on ocular health among university students in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Taif University, Saudi Arabia; Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 College of Medicine, Taif University, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Taif University, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Lotfi F Issa
College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia. Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_382_19

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Background: People are increasingly using mobile phones rather than fixed telephones. Nearly everyone has a mobile phone and the vast majority of these are smartphone. The patterns of smartphone activities may put a significant number of populations especially students at risk of negative ocular problems. To determine the prevalence, pattern, and impact of smartphone use on ocular health among University students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted and 760 male and female students were selected from Medical and Pharmacy Colleges by multistage random sampling. A self-administered structured questionnaire including sociodemographic and visual manifestations data was used to collect data. SPSS program version 22 was used to analyze data. Results: Out of 760 students selected, 546 (71.8%) responded. The overall prevalence of smartphone use was 90.84%. However, the age range for the beginning of smartphone use was 12–18 years old (68.3%). In addition, the daily duration of smartphone use was 4–6 h/day (30.2%). Furthermore, females believed that they use smartphone more than usual compared to males. Moreover, ocular pain and/or dryness after prolonged time spent on smartphone use were more among smartphone users (39.7%). Finally, most of the students (66.0%) had one or more ocular problems after smartphone use. Conclusions: There is an association between smartphone use and occurrence of ocular manifestations. Health education programs on smartphone use and its ocular hazards are highly recommended.

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