Digital eye strain and its impact on working adults in the UK and Ireland


Clinical relevance: Digital eye strain (DES) is a condition encompassing visual and ocular symptoms that may arise due to the prolonged use of digital devices. The 2023 Tear Film Ocular Surface Lifestyle report defined DES as “the development or exacerbation of recurrent ocular symptoms and / or signs related specifically to digital device screen viewing”. Studies vary as to the prevalence of DES with some reporting values as low as 10 % and some reporting values over 90 %, however no study has examined the prevalence of DES in the UK or Ireland (UK&I). Purpose: To determine the prevalence of DES amongst adults who work with digital devices in UK&I, their symptoms and ameliorative approaches taken by those affected. Methods: A web-based survey of digital device users was conducted. Adults who used a device for at least 1 h per day for work purposes were eligible to participate. The questionnaire was designed to determine the prevalence of DES, daily device usage, musculoskeletal and ocular symptoms, how they manage their symptoms and eye care history. Results: Based on a Computer Vision Syndrome Questionnaire score ≥ 6, the occurrence of DES was high at 62.6 %. The mean number of hours devices were used for was 9.7 h. Musculoskeletal symptoms were reported by 94.3 % of users and ocular symptoms by 89.5 % with symptoms most likely to occur with those working from home. 8.1 % of respondents considered their symptoms significant enough to affect their work. Conclusion: This study provides a valuable insight into DES in digital device users in UK&I and is the first of its kind to be completed. It shows, that while the level of DES is high in device users, at 62.6 %, the actual effect or consequences of it on many does not appear to be significant.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry & Vision Science Research Group (OVSRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of British Contact Lens Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital eye strain,Computer vision syndrome,UK,Ireland
Publication ISSN: 1476-5411
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 07:31
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 11:48
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://linking ... 367048424000687 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2024-05-11
Published Online Date: 2024-05-11
Accepted Date: 2024-04-30
Authors: Moore, Patrick A.
Wolffsohn, James S. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-8927)
Sheppard, Amy L. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0035-8267)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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