Changes in corneal astigmatism and near heterophoria after smartphone use while walking and sitting

Tsz Wing Leung, Chui-Ting Chan, Chi-Hin Lam, Yuk-Kwan Tong, Chea-Su Kee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims Smartphone use has become an indispensable part of our daily life. The handy design and powerful processor allow smartphone users to perform diversified tasks even when walking. This study aimed to investigate and compare the optical aftereffect and vergence adaptation of using a smartphone while walking and sitting. Methods Twenty-nine young healthy adults (aged 19 to 24 years old) with normal binocular and accommodative functions were recruited. Participants were asked to watch a movie for 30 minutes using a smartphone while either walking on a treadmill or sitting on a chair. Corneal aberrations and near heterophoria were measured before and after smartphone use by a corneal topographer and modified Thorington heterophoria test, respectively. Results Using the smartphone while walking induced a change in corneal H/V astigmatism, becoming 0.11±0.03 μm less negative (two-way ANOVA repeated measures, Bonferroni post-hoc test, p = 0.001). This optical aftereffect was significantly higher than after smartphone use while sitting by 0.10±0.03 μm (paired t-test, p = 0.003). Although smartphone use did not result in a significant change in near heterophoria (Bonferroni post-hoc test, p > 0.15), the vergence adaptation showed relatively more eso- or less exo-deviation by 0.79±0.36Δ in the walking than the sitting condition (paired t-test, p = 0.037). Conclusions Eyecare practitioners should be cautious of the potential optical after effect and vergence adaptation after prolonged smartphone usage.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0243072
Pages (from-to)e0243072
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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