Assessment of prevalence of dry eye among medical students using ocular surface disease index questionnaire - Is COVID-19 to be really blamed?

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Indian Journal of Ophthalmology


Purpose: An undergraduate research conducted during the pre-covid times, to highlight the importance of screen time and its association with dry eye in medical students. The aim was to study the prevalence of dry eye among medical students using the ocular surface index (OSDI) questionnaire. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. This study was conducted among medical students using an OSDI questionnaire in the pre-covid times. Based on the pilot study, the minimum sample size calculated was 245. A total of 310 medical students participated in the study. These medical students answered the OSDI questionnaire. The OSDI score was used to categorize students with dry eye as mild (13-22 points), moderate (23-32 points), and severe (33-100 points). In addition, the associations between the OSDI score and possible risk factors such as gender, contact lens/spectacle wear, laptop/mobile usage, and duration of exposure to air conditioners were also studied. Results: The analysis of the study revealed that out of 310 students, dry eye was seen in 143 (46.1%) and severe dry eyes were seen in 50 (16.1%). A high OSDI score (>13 points) was associated with the usage of a laptop/mobile for more than 6 h in 40 (52.6%) (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The prevalence of dry eye among medical students was 46.1% in the present study. Longer duration of usage of visual display units (laptop/mobile) was the only factor that showed a statistically significant association with dry eye in our study.

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