Children's Excessive Electronic Screen Use is linked with Me
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A Study was conducted to evaluate the association of children's daily-electronic-screen-use with severe meibomian-gland-atrophy (MGA).

Children (6-17 years old) were compared to age-matched controls with negligible atrophy for more than grade 2 MGA. Dry-eye symptoms, daily-electronic-screen-use-hours, diet, and outdoor-time were all evaluated using questionnaires. Extreme meibomian-gland-atrophy is measured using meibography imaging. After being found significant in one case, autoimmune-disease-biomarker-positivity was assessed in 16 severe-meibomian-gland-atrophy cases.

--172 children were evaluated. Patients with known meibomian-gland-atrophy causes or poor-quality meibographies were excluded.

--41 met inclusion criteria: 17 cases had severe-meibomian-gland-atrophy; 24 controls had insignificant gland-atrophy. All severe-meibomian-gland-atrophy cases had ocular symptoms/signs of dry-eye-disease including corneal neovascularization (29%), best-corrected-visual-acuity loss (41%), and central corneal neovascularization (14%).

--No controls had significant dry-eye symptoms/signs. Controls had lower/“better” meibogrades versus cases.

--In severe-meibomian-gland-atrophy cases, 86% reported more than 4hours of daily-electronic-screen-use; 50% reported more than 8hours. No controls exceeded 2hours.

--Increased electronic-screen-use was positively associated with increased/“worse” meibogrades (Odds-Ratio: 2.74).

--In 16 severe-meibomian-gland-atrophy cases, 62.5% tested positive for autoimmune-biomarker(s) though none had systemic-symptoms: 18.8% Rheumatoid-Factor; 6.25% SSA/SSB; 31.3% early Sjogren's-syndrome-biomarkers; 6.25% ANA-positive/RF-negative.

--Autoimmune-disease-biomarker-positivity was not significantly associated with severe-meibomian-gland-atrophy vs controls.

Finally, prolonged electronic-screen-use in children is linked to extreme meibomian-gland-atrophy. More research is required to set formal electronic-screen-use limits based on meibography grade and assess the association of autoimmune-disease-biomarker-positivity in children with serious meibomian-gland-atrophy.

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