Problems & Conditions

Problems & Conditions

With an increase in digital technology, many individuals suffer from physical eye discomfort after screen use for longer than two hours at a time. The Vision Council refers to this collection of symptoms as digital eye strain.

More than 87 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 52.2 percent report using two digital devices simultaneously.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON TEENS?

Teens today have grown up with technology always at their fingertips. Whether they're playing the latest game or doing homework, technology permeates a teen's life early on and increasingly becomes part of their daily routine as they get older.

In fact, 76.5 percent of Americans report their child(ren)/teen(s) – those under the age of 18 – gets more than two hours of screen time per day. And 55.6 percent report their child(ren)/teen(s) experiences one of the following after being exposed to more than two hours of screen time:

  • Headaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behavior
  • Irritability

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ALLEVIATE DIGITAL EYE STRAIN?

Eyewear is available with lenses featuring digital eye strain reducing capabilities. However, individuals don't have to sacrifice style for function when it comes to eyewear. These specialized lenses can be incorporated into virtually any pair of frames, so individuals can choose eyewear that complements their personal look, while meeting their eye health needs.

While 78.3 percent of parents are somewhat concerned about the impact of digital devices on their child(ren)/teen(s), only 29.1 percent report taking their child(ren)/teen(s) for an annual eye exam as part of back-to-school preparation.

The Vision Council recommends individuals and their child(ren) visit a local eyecare provider to discuss their digital habits and what eyewear solutions are available to relieve the symptoms of digital eye strain.

Additionally, parents should encourage their child(ren)/teen(s) to take breaks when using digital devices; make sure child(ren)/teen(s) don't put screens too close to their eyes, especially for long periods of time; and should ensure their child(ren)/teen(s)' workspace is set up properly with a chair promoting correct posture with feet flat on the floor.