News Column

Eyes suffer the strain of electronic devices

January 17, 2014



New research from the Vision Council has found that nearly 70 per cent of adults in the US have experienced digital eye strain through prolonged use of devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones.

The research, released at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, found that issues commonly associated with over-exposure to digital devices included dry eyes, blurred vision, headache and neck, shoulder or back pain.

What the Vision Council described as the world’s reliance on electronics, has led to an increase in the amount of time spent looking at electronic screens and data showed that 43 per cent adults work in jobs that required prolonged use of a computer or a tablet. It also found that 32 per cent spent six to nine hours per day in front of electronic devices while the number that spent 10 or more hours per day rose by 4 per cent during the past year. Spending just two consecutive hours on a digital device could cause eye strain and fatigue symptoms, added the Vision Council.

Compounding the figures was the finding in the report that 41 per cent of adults have never tried, or don’t know how to reduce their digital eye strain.

‘While our eyes are not ideally equipped to look at digital screens for extended periods of time, there are simple precautions that can prevent the discomfort that many experience while using popular devices – and allow us to continue using these technologies without the risk of digital eye strain,’ said Vision Council CEO Ed Greene.

The Vision Council’s medical advisory board’s main recommendations were to take 20-second screen breaks every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away, use specialist computer lenses and position and use devices at optimal viewing distances and angles. For computer monitors, this was said to be about an arm’s length away with the screen flat, and smartphones should be held below eye level at a comfortable distance.


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Source: Optician (UK)


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