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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(9): 1647-1654

Eyeing computer vision syndrome: awareness, knowledge, and its impact on sleep quality among health sciences students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ayman A. Ahmad, Bushra F. Alshehri, Ameerah M. Almalki, Abdulelah M. Albaradi, Manal S. Almalki, Khadijah Y. Alattas.


Background: Prolonged use of computer devices during the COVID-19 pandemic can cause symptoms known as computer vision syndrome (CVS). Proper identification of symptoms and risk factors is needed for effective prevention and control of CVS. The present study was aimed to assess the awareness and knowledge of CVS and its impact on sleep quality among health sciences students in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 564 health science students using electronic devices in Taif city, KSA. An online questionnaire was distributed to collect students' demographics, digital devices using habits, frequency of eye symptoms, ergonomic practices, knowledge of computer CVS, and sleep quality assessment by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
Results: The tablet was the most used device by females, while smartphones were the most used device by males. Medical students used tablets more commonly (68.1%) than other branch students, and 81.4% had poor sleep quality. Eye strain/fatigue (77.7%) and neck, shoulder, and backache (73.6%) were the most common reported CVS symptoms. Although (70.4%) took breaks, while working on their laptops, only a small percentage applied ergonomic practices. 89.4% reported that they had never heard of CVS, and 1.1% knew it very well. About 73% (73.4%) had good, and 26.4% had poor knowledge related to CVS.
Conclusion: CVS has a high prevalence among students, which can affect their lifestyle and academic performance. Preventive measures and raising awareness will help to decrease the effect of this syndrome.

Key words: CVS, knowledge, sleep, quality, students, Taif.

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