Tags: digital | eye | strain | report

Digital Eye Strain on the Rise, Affects 70 Percent of US Adults: Report

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 01:48 PM

Computers, smartphones, and other digital devices are wreaking havoc on our eyes, with some 70 percent of U.S. adults experiencing eye strain, according to a new study.

The Vision Council, which represents optical industry manufacturers and suppliers, featured new research on its website recently that suggests that overexposure to blue light, referred to as high-energy visible (HEV) light, may contribute to vision problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. 

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"Digital eye strain is not caused by one isolated event or behavior," The Vision Council wrote. "Irritation and discomfort can be the result of many issues — from the way devices are made to how we use them, even to how we hold and view them. Eye strain can also be exacerbated in adults who wear prescription eyewear. Corrective lenses are often times not intended for the mid-distance range of computers and other electronics."

Dr. Edward Kondrot, founder of the Healing the Eye & Wellness Center, told CNN in February that digital eye strain symptoms include headaches, eye pain, eye redness, eye watering, double vision, and a loss of focus. 

"Our lives have increasingly become more digital today," Kondrot said. "While some may see this as a benefit, others are finding that it can literally be a pain in the eye. Digital eye strain is now a common problem. Eye and vision problems are reported in 70 to 75 percent of computer workers, according to the American Optometric Association."

According to the research, the number of people affected by digital eye strain will continue to rise. An estimated 2.35 billion personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones were purchased in 2013 alone, and Americans spend an average of six to nine hours per day in front of these devices.

Kondrot made several recommendations to reduce digital eye strain, including taking 15-minute breaks, blinking frequently to coat the cornea, wearing designated computer glasses, making sure the monitor is bright, and keeping your eyes between 20 to 28 inches away from the device's screen.

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