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Int Ophthalmol. 2019 Jun;39(6):1315-1322. doi: 10.1007/s10792-018-0947-6. Epub 2018 Jun 7.

Prevalence of dry eye in video display terminal users: a cross-sectional Caucasian study in Italy.

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University Eye Clinic of Pavia, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.
Scientific Direction, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.
University Eye Clinic of Pavia, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.
Oculistica, Istituto Beato Palazzolo, Bergamo, Italy.



To estimate the prevalence of dry eye among video-terminal (VDT) users and to assess risk factors for dry eye in this population.


A single-centre, cross-sectional study was carried out on subjects employed as VDT workers and on a control group.


Demographic data, years spent working at a VDT, number of effective hours at VDT/day, number and hours of breaks/day were considered. All subjects underwent a complete ophthalmic examination and completed the Italian version of the computer vision symptom scale 17-item (CVSS17) questionnaire. Both groups were classified as definite, suspect and non-dry eye syndrome (DES).


One-hundred and ninety four subjects completed the study; 70 (36.1%) of which represented the control group, and 124 (63.9%) represented the VDT group. Among VDT workers, 29 (23.4%) presented definite DES and 55 (44.4%) suspect DES, while among controls, only 2 (2.9%) presented definite DES and 37 (52.8%) suspect DES. In the univariate analysis, the DES group was older (p < 0.001), spent more time a day at VDT (p < 0.001), used VDT from more time (p < 0.001), instilled artificial tears (p = 0.031), and presented worst quality of life (p < 0.001). At the multivariate analysis, only age and time at VDT retained association with DES (OR 1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.09; p = 0.01 and OR 1.57; 95% CI 1.07-2.02; p = 0.017, respectively).


The global increase of VDT workers is accompanied by a higher frequency of ocular complaints. Older subjects and people spending more than 4 h a day at VDT are at major risk to develop DES and should take precautions to prevent the onset of the disease.


Dry eye; Occupational health; Ocular surface; Prevalence; Quality of life; Video display terminal (VDT)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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