You’ve likely heard the term digital eye strain. With its relationship to blue light, and The Vision Council releasing a yearly report on its rising impact, most people in the eye care industry have some level of familiarity with this visual consequence of device use.
But what exactly is digital eye strain, how is it related to blue light, and why are more and more people experiencing symptoms?
From Computer Vision Syndrome to Digital Eye Strain
But what's been found, especially in the case of the dry, scratchy, tired eyes, is that the source of the problem actually resides in the blue wavelength of light coming off our screens, not the height of our chair or monitor. And that problem is being amplified with the increasing use of smartphones and tablets.
The Impact of Our Changing Viewing Habits
Think about what’s happened over the past 10 years. We all carry around a digital device. In fact, for many of us, it’s in our hand more than it’s in our pocket. And those phones and tablets put off quite a bit of blue light.
A recent study by The Vision Council* revealed that 87% of Americans spend at least two hours a day looking at a device. Two hours just so happens to be the magic number when symptoms of digital eye strain begin to surface. So you have close to 90% of people residing in that sweet spot for digital eye strain. It’s no wonder VSP optometrists report seeing a 50% increase in reports of digital eye strain and effects of blue light exposure.**
Why Blue Light Contributes to Digital Eye Strain
So you have this perfect storm of an increase in exposure to a high-energy light that our eyes can neither focus, nor process adequately. That’s what’s leading to a substantial growth in cases of digital eye strain.
Have you noticed an increase in symptoms of digital eye strain. Tell us about it in the comments section below.
*The Vision Council, "Blue Light/Digital Eye Strain Report." See pdf
*VSP Vision Care, "2016 Blue Light Awareness Survey"