Influence of presbyopia on smartphone usage among Chinese adults: A population study

Congyao Wang, Xiuqin Wang, Ling Jin, Bobby Tang, Wenhui Zhu, Guoshan Zhang, Tingting Chen, Helen McAneney, Jordan Kassalow, Nathan Congdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


IMPORTANCE: Presbyopia, an essentially universal, age-related loss of the ability to focus un-aided on near objects, is the world's leading cause of visual impairment.

BACKGROUND: Smartphone use is widespread in China, but little is known about the prevalence, determinants and correction of difficulties with smartphone use in the setting of presbyopia.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional data from a population-based longitudinal cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1817 persons aged ≥35 years in Guangzhou, Southern China.

METHODS: Participants underwent near visual acuity (NVA) testing and completed questionnaires on smartphone usage detailing knowledge of their own presbyopia status, frequency (hours/day) and subjective difficulties with use of mobile and smartphones. Presbyopia was defined as uncorrected bilateral NVA ≤6/12 with best-corrected bilateral NVA >6/12.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Difficulty in smartphone use associated with uncorrected presbyopia.

RESULTS: Among 1427 respondents (78.5%) undergoing examination, 1191 (83.5%) completed questionnaires (mean age 52.3 ± 11.6 years; 54.9% women). Among 451 persons (37.8%) with presbyopia owning smartphones, 290 (64.3%) reported difficulty using them. Multiple ordinal logistic regression modelling showed difficulty in smartphone use due to presbyopia was associated with higher educational level (P = .013), worse NVA (P < .001) and more time spent using smartphones (P = .002 for 1-3 hours/day). Among persons with presbyopia owning smartphones, 353 (78.0%) said they would pay >US$15 (median US$45) for innovations making smartphone use easier.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Difficulty in using smartphones in the presence of presbyopia is common and affected persons are willing to pay for useful solutions to the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-917
Number of pages9
JournalClinical & Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians/statistics & numerical data
  • China/epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eyeglasses/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Presbyopia/epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smartphone/statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders/epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity


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