Washington, DC, July 21, 2020 -- A new Alcon/Ipsos poll finds that many Americans are spending more time on screens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those who report spending more time in front of a screen, nearly half (45%) say that they have experienced their eyes feeling dry as a result and 60% are concerned about the impact that increased screen time will have on their eyes.
Screen time has increased for many Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- A majority admit they have been spending more time on their smart/mobile phones (59%), watching television (59%), or in front of a computer screen (55%) since the pandemic began;
- At least a quarter report that the time they spend on a tablet (31%) or video game device (25%) has also increased during the pandemic.
- Younger adults, particularly those under the age of 35, are especially likely to be spending more time on screens versus those over the age of 55.
Most are aware that increased screen time can cause eye dryness:
- Among those who report spending more time on at least one device, 72% say that they are aware that increased screen time may cause dryness of their eyes. In fact, nearly half among this group have experienced this during the pandemic (45%).
- Three in five (60%) are concerned about the impact that increased screen time will have on their eyes.
What can I do to protect my eyes?
At Astorino Eye Center we provide many optical solutions to protect you from blue light exposure. The best options are blue light protective lenses such as BluTech lenses, or a blue light protective filter added to the anti-glare coating of your prescription glasses!
Otherwise, be mindful of your screen time and give your eyes a break! Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds to help your eyes adjust and relax.
How can you help me if I have dry eye?
At Astorino Eye Center we are experts on dry eye and chronic dry eye. This can often develop due to increased screen time. To confirm your symptoms relate to dry eye, Astorino & Associates Eye Center offers in-office testing that evaluates the quantity and quality of your tears.
The Schirmer test is a common procedure that uses small strips of paper that soak up your tears. Other tests help your doctor measure how long it takes your tears to evaporate.
Your doctor also evaluates your overall eye health to determine if you have existing issues that may contribute to dry eye symptoms.
How is dry eye treated?
While there is no cure for dry eye, your doctor can provide recommendations to help you manage your condition. Most often, the use of artificial tears can keep your eyes moisturized and free of debris.
In some cases, a procedure to temporarily plug or permanently close the tear drainage areas may be an option for preventing dry eye symptoms. The goal of the procedure is to prevent tears from draining away too quickly.
You may also benefit from wearing contact lenses for people with dry eyes, which help you retain more moisture in your eyes.
If you have chronic eye irritation or need help treating dry eye, schedule an evaluation at Astorino & Associates Eye Center today using the online booking feature or by calling the office.