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Why you need to protect your eyes from the effects of prolonged screen time

computer vision syndrome dry eyes computer dry eyes computer glasses dry eyes computer use

How much screen time are we spending each day?

excessive screen viewing causes dry eyes and eye strain

According to an Ofcom survey in 2021, we spent an average of:

  • 3 hours 37 minutes a day on smartphones, tablets and computers
  • 1 hour 21 minutes a day watching online services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer on TV sets.
  • In addition, 40% of car drivers in the UK use a sat nav on every journey.

This adds up to a lot of screen time. 

How has this changed with the pandemic?

With the pandemic having encouraged many people to move to digital working, online learning and virtual socialising, our screen time has soared and many of the new online practices such as virtual meetings on Zoom have now been embedded into our daily routines.

A staggering 76% of the population between 16 and 24 are spending more time on their phones, while 45% have increased the amount of time they spend on their laptops.

And it’s not just phones and laptops that are the digital culprits: 34% of the population are spending more time watching TV, while 22% have increased their tablet usage.

But at what cost to our eyesight?

John suffering from computer vision syndrome
There are various negative effects of increased screen time, cumulatively referred to as computer vision syndrome. 
Because our blink rate goes down by 60% when we focus on digital screens, our eyes are not being lubricated by tears so often.

This leads to a significant increase in dry eye symptoms.

It is also leads to other eye symptoms including eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, and loss of flexibility to change eye focus.

How can we protect our eyes?

  • Try to reduce your screen time, particularly in late evening
  • Ensure that the room is well lit to reduce the effect of screen glare
  • Turn down the screen brightness
  • Take regular screen breaks
    • When using your digital device, follow the 20/20/20 rule. This means every 20 minutes you should look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds and during this time, focus on an object 20 feet away.
  • Put a humidifier on your desk

Find out more

girl wearing Ziena Marina glasses

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