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 83 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 53.1 percent report using two digital devices simultaneously.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON CHILDREN?
Children today have grown up with technology always at their fingertips. It seems as if children learn how to use a computer/laptop, smart phone or tablet before they can walk. Whether they're playing the latest game or doing homework, technology permeates a child's life and does so at a young age.
In fact, 72 percent of Americans report their child(ren) – those under the age of 18 – gets more than two hours of screen time per day. And 30.1 percent report their child(ren) experiences one of the following after being exposed to more than two hours of screen time:
• Neck/shoulder pain
• Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
• Reduced attention span
• Poor behavior
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ALLEVIATE DIGITAL EYE STRAIN?
Eyewear for children is available with lenses featuring digital eye strain reducing capabilities.
However, children 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 children, with the help of their parents, can choose eyewear that complements their personal look, while meeting their eye health needs.
While 74.4 percent of parents are somewhat concerned about the impact of digital devices on their child(ren), only 24.6 percent report taking their child(ren) 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) to take breaks when using digital devices; make sure child(ren) don't put screens too close to their eyes, especially for long periods of time; and should ensure their child(ren)'s workspace is set up properly with a chair promoting correct posture with feet flat on the floor.