Nearly 70% of adults who report regular usage of media devices experienced some symptoms of digital eyestrain, but many did nothing to lessen their discomfort mainly due to lack of knowledge.

Nearly 70% of adults who report regular usage of media devices experienced some symptoms of digital eyestrain, but many did nothing to lessen their discomfort mainly due to lack of knowledge.

 

In 2012 The Vision Council conducted a survey of 10,000 adults, age 18 and older, about their use of digital media and the accompanying symptoms of vision problems.  Nearly 70% of adults who report regular usage of media devices experienced some symptoms of digital eyestrain, but many did nothing to lessen their discomfort mainly due to lack of knowledge. 

The survey also revealed that the public had a general lack of knowledge about digital eyestrain being a real health issue, with fewer than 1 in 5 adults having heard of the term and only 23% being aware that special digital-use eyewear exists that could help reduce symptoms.

Eye care providers have noted a steady rise in the number of patients with digital eyestrain (computer related eyestrain), whose symptoms include dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and neck and back pain.

To preserve eye health and help adults, kids and teenagers adapt to digital lifestyle, the optical industry is investing in new lens technologies to enhance the digital experience while minimizing eyestrain as an increasing number of people from all age groups spend more time in front of screens.

Computer glasses help the eye adjust to intermediate-distance objects such as computer screens. A modified lens power relaxes the eye while providing a large field of view. And an anti-reflective coating helps combat eye strain by softening the glare of harsh indoor and outdoor lighting, while also improving the contrast of digital content. There are even lenses that selectively absorb harmful blue light, keeping it from entering through the cornea. These lenses are either infused with melanin or use a blue-light filtering coating. 

A newly conducted study by École d’Optométrie from the University of Montreal found that:

  • Wearing a lens treated with a blue-light filter coating helped reduce symptoms of eyestrain by half during prolonged computer exposure.
    2.42 symptoms before versus 1.47 symptoms with blue coating (p=0.04).

  • After wearing a lens treated with a blue-light filter coating, subjects with symptoms of eyestrain due to prolonged computer exposure felt a significant improvement of the following symptoms: dry eyes, sticky eyes, and the feeling of grittiness or "sand" in the eye.

  • They also reported trends of the overall vision and improved visual performances in situations of low contrast.