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National Survey Reveals Our Eyes are in Overdrive

From ALLtech vision care provider VSP Vision Care Inc.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in unexpected ways, including increasing our amount of screen time due to us being at home more often. VSP® Vision Care recently sponsored a national survey that revealed how the pandemic has influenced Americans’ attitudes about screen time, its effect on our eyes and the importance of vision care.

Prioritizing Eye Health and Wellness

According to the survey, nine in 10 Americans think it’s important to take care of their eyes coming out of the pandemic. With a renewed sense of appreciation for health and wellness, the survey also found that nearly 60% of Americans report prioritizing a visit to their eye doctor out of a greater interest for their overall health.

Eyes in Overdrive Due to Increased Screen Time

More than half of respondents shared that they look at a computer screen most of the day. Because of working from home, catching up over video calls or supporting kids through distance learning, the survey findings show that many of us are ready for a break from digital devices. In fact, more than half would consider a “digital detox,” defined as a break from screen time.

While we’ve found new ways to stay connected, people are experiencing more than just fatigue from video calls. The survey found that nearly a quarter of Americans say that their eyes feel worse than they did a year ago. And nearly two in three report experiencing some degree of eye discomfort on a daily basis.

All the long hours logged in front of computers and smartphones can contribute to a condition called digital eye strain. When blue light is emitted from digital devices and enters your eyes, it scatters, putting your eyes in overdrive working harder to focus. With prolonged exposure, this can cause symptoms like watery, dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches. These symptoms may be on the rise, as 13% of Americans report that they first learned of the condition in the last year.

Protecting Your Eye Health

Between the visual discomfort, and heightened awareness about the importance of taking care of our overall health, four in five say that they are concerned about protecting their eyes coming out of the pandemic. Parents are also concerned about the effects of screen time on their children’s eyes. The survey found that men are even more likely than women to be worried about their children’s eyes, and when it comes to millennial dads, six in 10 are concerned about their child’s vision due to increased screen time.

Your eye doctor is your ally not only in defense against digital eye strain, but also an advocate for your overall health. During an annual comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will assess the health of your eyes and can catch early warning signs of eye diseases and chronic conditions like diabetes that may otherwise have no noticeable symptoms. Get your eyes in gear and your wellness in check by scheduling your annual eye exam with your local VSP network eye doctor.