Video display terminal (VDT) users with dry eye disease (DED) symptoms demonstrate tear film instability and increased bulbar congestion following computer work, according to an investigation published in The Ocular Surface. Since asymptomatic users do not show similar changes, individuals who are symptomatic may experience chronic ocular surface alterations, according to the report.
Researchers enrolled 70 individuals in the prospective cohort study, which included symptomatic (n=35; mean age, 29 years) and asymptomatic VDT users (n=35; mean age, 24.1 years). Study individuals watched a 1-hour movie inside a controlled environment chamber while the investigators measured blink rate. Participants also underwent corneal fluorescein staining, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), tear osmolarity, tear meniscus height (TMH), non-invasive tear breakup time (NIBUT), bulbar redness, meibography, and Schirmer assessment before and after the movie.
Among symptomatic VDT users, NIBUT significantly decreased (10.7 vs 6.7 seconds; P =.007) and bulbar congestion significantly increased (0.8 vs 1.1; P =.01) from baseline to the study conclusion, the report shows. There were no significant changes in TMH, Schirmer scores, corneal staining, or osmolarity.
At baseline, 16.2% of symptomatic participants met Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society-Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS-DEWSII) criteria for DED. This value increased to 67.6% following the computer task. Blink rate significantly decreased from baseline to completion of the task (6.8 vs 9.3; P =.006).
Individuals who were asymptomatic experienced insignificant changes in all parameters, according to the report.
“Asymptomatic VDT users do not demonstrate any tear film changes, thereby implicating chronic ocular surface alterations occurring in VDT users who become symptomatic,” according to the researchers.
Study limitations include potential volunteer bias and a failure to include individuals who do not use VDT technology at all.
Srivastav S, Basu S, Singh S. Tear film changes in symptomatic versus asymptomatic video display terminal users following computer challenge test. Ocul Surf. 2023;30;53-56. doi:10.1016/j.jtos.2023.08.003