Prolonged screen time can increase eye problems, say researchers

Research suggests prolonged screen viewing can reduce blinking and increase eye problems

Monday, May 13, 2019

Eye problems experienced by millions of Britons could be down to a lack of blinking when looking at screens, research has revealed.

According to the recent study of 2,000 adults, the average adult spends around 84 days a year looking at a screen, which can reduce blinking from 20 times a minute to just once or twice.

A lack of blinking can lead to blurred vision, dry eyes and headaches caused by eyestrain, which can result in many workers struggling with their eyesight by 2pm.

Eye care expert and oculoplastic surgeon Sabrina Shah-Desai said: “The results demonstrate how screens have really taken over our lives, they are everywhere we look.

“Office workers, in general, are more prone to dry eye disease as we naturally blink less when concentrating.

“It’s these longer periods between blinking where symptoms of dry eyes arise, causing redness and a feeling of ‘grittiness’ and blurred vision.

“Our eyes are essential, and we should treat them well to minimise any long term damage and maintain optimum health.”

Over half of those surveyed believe their working environment, including lighting and air conditioning, has a negative effect on their eyes.

One quarter started to wear glasses for monitor use and two in ten have tried eye drops.

The study also showed over one quarter of people suffer from a ‘screen hangover’ which is an increase of eye struggle the following day after being up late looking at screens.

The results also revealed one in three suggested they felt ‘more awake’ the following day if they avoided screen time in the evenings.

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