Background: The extensive use of computers as medium of teaching and learning in universities necessitates introspection into the extent of computer related health disorders among student population. Aim; This study was undertaken to assess the pattern of computer usage and related visual problems, among University students in Ajman, United Arab Emirates. Materials and Methods A total of 500 Students studying in Gulf Medical University, Ajman and Ajman University of Science and Technology were recruited into this study. Demographic characteristics, pattern of usage of computers and associated visual symptoms were recorded in a validated selfâ€‘administered questionnaire. Chiâ€‘square test was used to determine the significance of the observed differences between the variables. The level of statistical significance was at P < 0.05. The crude odds ratio (OR) was determined using simple binary logistic regression and adjusted OR was calculated using the multiple logistic regression. Results: The mean age of participants was 20.4 (3.2) years. The analysis of racial data reveals that 50% (236/471) students were from Middle East, 32% (151/471) from other parts of Asia, 11% (52/471) from Africa, 4% (19/471) from America and 3% (14/471) from Europe. The most common visual problems reported among computer users were headache â€‘ 53.3% (251/471), burning sensation in the eyes â€‘ 54.8% (258/471) and tired eyes â€‘ 48% (226/471). Female students were found to be at a higher risk. Nearly 72% of students reported frequent interruption of computer work. Headache caused interruption of work in 43.85% (110/168) of the students while tired eyes caused interruption of work in 43.5% (98/168) of the students. When the screen was viewed at distance more than 50 cm, the prevalence of headaches decreased by 38% (50â€‘100 cm – OR: 0.62, 95% of the confidence interval [CI]: 0.42â€‘0.92). Prevalence of tired eyes increased by 89% when screen filters were not used (OR: 1.894, 95% CI: 1.065â€‘3.368). Conclusion: High prevalence of vision related problems was noted among university students. Sustained periods of close screen work without screen filters were found to be associated with occurrence of the symptoms and increased interruptions of work of the students. There is a need to increase the ergonomic awareness among students and corrective measures need to be implemented to reduce the impact of computer related vision problems.
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