Smartphone Use and its Impact on Ocular Health among University Students in Saudi Arabia

Lotfi F. Issa, Khaled A. Alqurashi, Talal Althomali, Talal A. Alzahrani, Abdullah S. Aljuaid, Tariq M. Alharthi


Background: People are increasingly using mobile phones rather than fixed telephones. Nearly everyone has a mobile phone and the vast majority of these are smartphone. The patterns of smartphone activities may put a significant number of populations especially students at risk of negative ocular problems. To determine the prevalence, pattern, and impact of smartphone use on ocular health among University students. Methods: A cross‑sectional study was conducted and 760 male and female students were selected from Medical and Pharmacy Colleges by multistage random sampling. A self‑administered structured questionnaire including sociodemographic and visual manifestations data was used to collect data. SPSS program version 22 was used to analyze data. Results: Out of 760 students selected, 546 (71.8%) responded. The overall prevalence of smartphone use was 90.84%. However, the age range for the beginning of smartphone use was 12– 18 years old (68.3%). In addition, the daily duration of smartphone use was 4–6 h/day (30.2%). Furthermore, females believed that they use smartphone more than usual compared to males. Moreover, ocular pain and/or dryness after prolonged time spent on smartphone use were more among smartphone users (39.7%). Finally, most of the students (66.0%) had one or more ocular problems after smartphone use. Conclusions: There is an association between smartphone use and occurrence of ocular manifestations. Health education programs on smartphone use and its ocular hazards are highly recommended.


Smartphone; students; Saudi Arabia; universities

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