Digital Eye Strain Among Radiologists: A Survey-based Cross-sectional Study


      Computers have become a fundamental part of clinical radiology departments. Radiologists tend to spend long hours in front of computers, reading and analyzing medical images. This prolonged use of computers is associated with digital eye strain. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the prevalence of digital eye strain among radiologists and determine its contributory factors.


      An online survey was sent to radiologists practicing in hospitals in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The survey addressed demographic information, workload and workstation environment, personal eye care, and evaluation of digital eye strain symptoms as well as the strategies employed to reduce these symptoms. Results were analyzed descriptively using Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses.


      The survey was completed by 198 participants (111 men and 87 women), including residents (40.9%), senior registrars (27.3%), and consultants (27.3%). Most participants (71.2%) were aged below 40 years. Most participants tend to spend 7–9 hours daily reviewing medical images. Overall, 50 participants (25.3%) take a break from work once daily only. A total of 53 participants (26.8%) reported undergoing an eye examination within the past year and 100 participants (50.5%) reported experiencing digital eye strain. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that female sex (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9; 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.6–10.0) and the practice of taking breaks once a day (OR = 15.1; 95% CI: 2.4–94.1) or twice a day (OR = 5.5; 95% CI: 1.1–28.4) only were associated with higher rates of digital eye strain symptoms.


      Digital eye strain is a prevalent condition among radiologists regardless of their subspecialty. It is more commonly seen among radiology residents. Being a female and not taking frequent breaks were associated with higher rates of digital eye strain.

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