In today’s digitalized world, extended screen time has become the norm in our everyday lives. The average person spends around eleven hours a day on digital devices*. Whether it’s for work or play, statistics show our day is infused with technology, from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep. According to The Vision Council’s annual VisionWatch survey, nearly 67 percent of adults say they use two or more devices simultaneously, close to 55 percent report looking at some type of screen in the first hour they’re awake, and nearly 80 percent say they use digital devices in the hour just before going to sleep**. Staring at blue-light-emitting screens all day must have some effect on our bodies, right? When you mix together prolonged usage of smartphones, computers, tablets, TV, and the use of other electronics, it adds up. Blue light is all around us and, although a lot of this technology is beneficial, prolonged usage may impact your visual comfort and leave you experiencing digital eye strain symptoms like eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, and dry or watery eyes.
How can you combat digital eye strain and blue light?
Avoiding blue light is impossible, but there are several options for helping to combat digital eye strain and reducing your exposure to blue light which include limiting screen time, observing the 20-20-20 rule, using computer glasses, and enhancing your glasses with a blue-light-reducing lens coating.
The best digital eye strain treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the symptom which requires proper diagnosis. With regular eye care and proper diagnosis by your eye doctor, your symptoms of eye strain can usually be alleviated.
Why is an eye exam important?
Even if you have 20/20 vision and don’t have an eyewear need it’s important to get your annual eye exam. Our eye health and vision can change over time no matter what life stage you’re in. Having a routine comprehensive eye exam every year is the most important thing you can do to help prevent or treat computer vision problems—along with other eye and health issues. During your exam, talk to your VSP network eye doctor about your lifestyle and how often you’re using a computer and other digital devices. This will provide your doctor with a full picture of your vision needs and help determine which options are best for you. NEED AN EYE EXAM? Find a VSP Premier Program Practice near you and schedule an appointment.
Depending on your diagnosis, treatment can range from only requiring modifications to your home and work environment like limiting screen time, finding a comfortable viewing distance, changing brightness, contrast levels and font sizes on your computer.
In other cases, treatment may consist of providing relief from digital eye strain with non-prescription, ready-made blue light glasses. Shop styles for the whole family on Eyeconic® starting at $69 and get 20% off any pair just for being a member. If you’re needing prescriptive blue light options, you may benefit by enhancing your glasses with a blue-light-reducing lens coating like TechShield® Blue. Your VSP benefit provides a savings of up to 40% on TechShield Anti-Reflective Coatings, including TechShield Blue.***
*Q1 2018 Nielsen Total Audience report
**The Vision Council’s VisionWatch July 2018 survey
**Savings based on doctor's retail price and vary by plan and purchase selection; average savings determined after benefits are applied. Available only through VSP network doctors to VSP members with applicable plan benefits. Ask your VSP network doctor for details.
See Well. Be Well.™ Make your eye health and eye care a priority, starting with scheduling a comprehensive eye exam. If you haven’t already, take advantage of your COSE member benefit and opt-in to VSP vision insurance. Contact your COSE sales representative or broker for more info.