A 2016 report by the Vision Council found that 60% of Americans use digital devices for 5 or more hours each day. 70% of Americans use 2 or more devices at a time.
The term Digital Eyestrain has replaced the term Computer Vision Syndrome due to the increase in types of digital devices. Digital Eyestrain is defined as “physical discomfort of one’s eyes after spending periods of time throughout the day in front of a digital device, such as a computer or smartphone.”
It is reported that we blink an average of 10 times a minute normally, when reading, using a smartphone or other device the blink rate drops to 4 times a minute. Blinking is a vital component to ocular surface health and tear stability. More important than how often we blink is how well we blink. An incomplete blink can cause more tear instability than not enough blinks. A complete blink is necessary to stimulate a muscle on the eyelid margin that releases an important component of the tear film.
Treatment for Digital Eyestrain includes wearing the best visual correction for the task. Reducing glare and fatiguing light with coatings is beneficial also. For contact lens wearers the proper correction for the working distance is important. A clean contact lens surface and proper blinking can minimize dry eye symptoms.
According to a 2015 survey of employed US adults who had vision benefits, 92% of the respondents felt that the quality of their work was impacted by visual disturbances at the workplace. Only 13% reported this fact to their employer, even though 99% of them felt that seeing well was important. More than half of those surveyed said they were bothered by light issues at work. The top light issues or visual disturbances were tired eyes, light reflecting off a computer screen, bright glaring light, dry eyes and headaches.
When I first started my optometry career I had a huge book dedicated to occupational eye care. The book was published before the ubiquitous use of computers so the content of the book included various types of bifocals and lens designs to meet the demands of secretaries, carpenters and other occupations. There was a chapter dedicated to the wielding profession and the proper selection of tints and protective eyewear. The proper design of eyewear and safety are still very important, but more complaints involve computers and electronic devices than 25 years ago.
65% of Americans report suffering from digital eyestrain. Symptoms of digital eyestrain include neck pain, eye strain, blurred vision, headache and dry eyes. A combination of factors foster the onset of digital eye strain, including the proximity of the screen, the frequency and duration of use and the degree of exposure to high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light emitted by video screens. You don’t need to suffer. Poor vision and compromised visual working conditions reduce our productivity. Solutions are available to relieve and minimize digital eyestrain.
Today’s gadgets and devices are placing demands on young eyes. The benefits of technology have a downside, especially when it comes to the eyes. Stress on the accommodative system (focusing) causes eye fatigue.
This can cause headaches, blurred vision and other related chronic discomforts.
Nearly 1 in 4 children are on digital devices 3 or more hours per day.
School text books are rapidly moving to tablets
40% of young adults spend at least 9 hours per day on digital devices.
It is difficult to avoid the use of computers and tablets, but you can take steps to reduce digital eyestrain. Wearing the correct prescription and taking advantage of blue light blocking coatings are 2 ways to make your eyes more comfortable. Make an appointment.