Link of Video Abstract: https://youtu.be/-B5Z8H6e4o0
Background: During pandemic, the amount of screen time in individuals is tremendously expanding. Excessive screen time may result in eye blinks reduction, tears evaporation, and eventually dry eye syndrome (DES). This study aims to show the descriptions of the duration of screen time and dry eye symptoms in medical students during the pandemic.
Methods: This study uses a descriptive and cross-sectional methods. The subjects were students of The School of Medicine at UIN Alauddin Makassar, who were undergoing online learning. The data were collected through a questionnaire containing subjects' activities using gadgets per day and the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) to assess dry eye symptoms. Ophthalmological examinations for DES (blink rate, tear meniscus height, tear break-up time, Schirmer test) were also performed on the study subjects.
Results: Most of the subjects are female and 22 years old. The average screen time of the subjects was 17.7 hours per day. Two subjects (4.55%) had mild dry eye symptoms, 14 subjects (31.82%) had moderate dry eye symptoms, and 28 subjects (63.64%), had severe dry eye symptoms. This study also found that the average blink rate of the subjects was 11.36±7.45 times per minute, and the average TBUT value was 10.58±2.69 seconds. Schirmer 1 examination showed a value with a mean of 23.67±12.76 mm, and Schirmer 2 examination showed a value of 20.21±11.64 mm.
Conclusion: The average screen time of the subjects was 17.7 hours. Most subjects had severe dry eye symptoms (63.64%) and low blink rate (59.09%).