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Study: Nearly 70% of adults experience digital eye strain from staring at their computer screens

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Study: Nearly 70% of adults experience digital eye strain from staring at their computer screens


A new study released Thursday revealed that nearly 70 percent of American adults experience eye strain caused by computers, tablets and smartphones. 

The vision council reported their findings, which also found that half of adults don't know they can reduce the discomfort, at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  

Sufferers can start to experience the nagging back pain, blurred vision and headaches just two hours into using a device and research has begun to suggest that exposure to some types of digital screen light may lead to cataracts and macular degeneration.

'The eye is not equipped to look at digital screens for extended periods of time,' said Justin Bazan, OD, optometrist and medical adviser to The Vision Council. 'These experiences might be common, but they are not normal.'

But common they are.

The Vision Council found that many Americans average 6 to 9 hours per day in front of digital devices.

They also discovered that the percentage of adults spending 10 or more hours per day staring at devices rose 4 percent from last year.

Focusing on objects at an intermediate distance - like a computer or smartphone - ultimately fatigues the eyes' focusing system and causes strain,' Bazan said.

That fatigue means digital eye strain.

According to the Vision Council, 'eye care providers are noting a steady rise in the number of patients with screen-related eye strain.

While aches and pains and possibility of more serious issues seem like a good reason to pick up a paperback instead of an e-reader, there are ways to cut down the effects of digital strain

Ways to reduce strain include: positioning screens at arm's length, holding handheld devices below eye-level to eliminate glare, and taking short breaks from looking at screens as often as possible.

There are also optics-based solutions in development that could ease the problem.

'Digital eye strain has become a large concern for the vision community,' said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. 'Fortunately, the optical industry has made great strides in the past year to develop lens technologies that can best address the causes of digital eye strain.

'Like other glasses we rely on to read and see clearly, computer glasses are transforming the way we look at computer and hand-held device screens.'

 Reprinted from the Daily Mail

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