To find out ocular symptoms in Visual Display Terminals (VDTs) users, among undergraduate students who adopted new education system in this COVID-19 era.
Methods: A cross-sectional, observational survey carried out in the month of September 2020, which included undergraduate students from Ahmedabad, who were using Visual Display Terminals (VDTs) for educational activities for more than 6 to 8 months. A total of fourteen validated questionnaires were selected, webpage survey form was created and the link was sent via various social media platform. Responses were assessed in the scale of 0 to 4 (0= never, 1=infrequently, 2=sometimes, 3= often, 4=always). The percentage of symptoms was calculated in terms of subjects, also in the scale of 0 to 4.
Results: A total of 103 undergraduate students responded with mean age of 19±1.5 years. Highest number (40: 4-6 hours, 36: 7-9 hours) of students had a screen time of 4 to 9 hours per day. The burning sensation (69.8%), redness (51.4%), itching (47.6%) were the most common symptoms, followed by irritation (34.6%), and scratchiness (25.5%) related to dry eyes. However, majority of the patients had those symptoms on infrequent duration. A loss of the concentration (73.8%), tired eyes (69.6%), discomfort (61.2%), headache (60.7%), reduced reading speed (56.3%), fluctuation in vision (44.7%), blurring (43.7%), were the most common symptoms related to the near work. Majority of participants felt these complain for the duration of infrequent to often basis. The double vision (25.2%) and floating of objects (11.7%) were the least common symptoms related to near work.
Conclusion: The VDTs related symptoms are increasing in the students in this COVID-19 era. Increasing awareness, proper counselling regarding algorithm of VDTs, taking regular breaks, avoiding unnecessary web searching and social media can help to relieve or minizine symptoms related to VDTs work in this COVID-19 era.