Sara Suber


PURPOSE. The use of video display terminals is associated with a decrease in blink frequency and an increase in tear evaporation rate. Each of these changes could trigger the dry eye symptoms described by computer users and video game players. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of continuous video game play on TBUT (tear breakup time) and Schirmer test. METHOD. Ten subjects average age 26.5 years 7 males and 3 females all free of ocular surface disease participated in the study. All game play was on the same monitor and under the same environmental conditions to minimize variability. A baseline Schirmer test without anesthetic prior to game play and then again after 60 minutes of continuous game play was performed. TBUT measurements were made using the Keeler Tearscope and fluorescein strips prior to game play and then after 20,40 and 60 minutes of continuous game play RESULTS. The baseline Schirmer measurement was 14.9 mm +/- 10.32 and after 60 minutes of continuous game play it decreased to 12.9 mm +/- 7.4. This change was not statistically significant. TBUT measurement decreased in each of the ten subjects over the 60 minutes of continuous game play. The baseline TBUT was 44 sec +/- 6.2 after 20 minutes of continuous game play. It declined to 36.7 +/- 7.8 and by 40 minutes it dropped to 31.7 sec +/- 6.7. Finally by 60 minutes it had declined to 29.1 sec +/- 7.2. An ANOVA followed by post hoc student Newman-Keuls revealed that all the changes in TBUT from baseline were statistically significant at the p=.05 level.

CONCLUSIONS. This study suggests that 60 minutes of continuous video game play can decrease TBUT significantly: nearly a 15 second decline. We suspect the decreased blink rate required when attending to a video game is the primary cause of the decline in TBUT. The increased reliance on computer video in everyday life may contribute to an increased incidence of computer related dry eye.


Year: 2001

Program Number: Poster 103

Author Affiliation: Southern College of Optometry

Co-Authors: Stefano Ragozzino, Charles Connor

Co-Author Affiliation: Southern College of Optometry, Southern College of Optometry

Room: Poster 103