Friday, October 9, 2020 11:44 AM
SAN RAMON, Calif.—New consumer research from CooperVision
reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased digital device use among Americans, and many are experiencing its effects on their eyes. The survey—conducted among nearly 2,500 adults in the United States—also shows significant opportunity for eyecare professionals (ECPs) to discuss digital eye strain with their patients.
The data supports CooperVision’s campaign aimed at educating consumers about the prevalence of digital device use and digital eye strain, which leverages free trial offers to help drive patients into nearby eyecare practices. The campaign kicked off with social media and display ads in August, and includes a partnership with digital lifestyle and technology influencer Jessica Naziri.
Extended screen time, already a trend heading into 2020, has become a way of life. Seventy percent of respondents ages 18-54 reported they spend more than half of their day looking at screens, while one in three people said more than 75 percent of their day is spent on digital devices.
In examining their screen time on specific devices since the start of the pandemic, 44 percent of all respondents reported increased use of their smartphones and 36 percent are spending more time on their computers. In addition, 38 percent reported watching more television over the last six months.
Naturally, this digital device use has had an impact on the eyes. Of those surveyed, 77 percent experience digital eye strain at some point during the day. The evening (41 percent) and late-night hours (32 percent) are the most common times of day to experience feelings of eye discomfort, tiredness and dryness from looking at screens.
“Through the years, advances in technology have led to ever-increasing rates of digital device use in society, and as eyecare professionals, we have seen the impact on eye health in our patients. The virtual work, education, and socialization forced on us by the pandemic seems to have accelerated these issues,” said Michele Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs, North America, CooperVision.
She added, “The results of this survey validate that digital eye strain is widely experienced, and spotlight a real opportunity for eyecare professionals and their practices to help.”