How We Use Devices is Creating Digital Eye Strain

Our eyes were designed for us to use as hunters and gatherers. Now we hunt and gather on the internet, on-the-go or at our laptops and desktop computers. We are attached for work and fun yet our eyes are not fully equipped to handle all of the demands placed by today’s technological devices.


More people are using multiple devices simultaneously. Children are studying a textbook on their tablet while snapchatting their best friend. Beyond entertainment and social media, our workplace productivity requires even more digital media proficiency. Patients often indicate on intake forms they spend 8, 10, 12 hours per day in front of a screen.


We are a society seeking efficiency and convenience. However, the very devices that bring those benefits have a downside, eye fatigue and digital eye strain (DES). The eye has a muscle, called the Ciliary, that tenses up as it tries to focus on backlit screens, hour after hour. When this muscle locks up it causes a variety of chronic and annoying symptoms. 


Digital Eye Strain and Blue Light

Several studies as well as data from OSHA and ISO, all show there are hazards associated with the High Energy Visible (HEV) Blue Light portion of the light spectrum. Blue light, including HEV Blue Light, is emitted from hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as our computer screens and HD TVs.


By reducing the amount of blue light that enters the eye, patients will be able to increase their comfort level and reduce eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision and other related discomforts that can hamper the efficiency we use our smartphones and tablets for in the first place!


Many of the annoying, chronic conditions associated with digital eye strain such as blurred vision, headaches and fatigue are likely plaguing your patients. Just as technology has posed challenges to vision care and correction, technology has also brought about solutions. It is time to stop talking about computer glasses as the “second pair” and think of them as our primary pair.


There are now multiple forms of technology focused on reducing digital eye strain symptoms. These innovations at Hoya include lens designs (iD Space, Screen, Zoom as well as Sync III and Tact), materials (BluTech) and AR treatments (Recharge) that will help you help your patients. It is often advantageous to offer computer glasses as the primary pair when ordering through the larger vision plans. It is 2018. The computer pair is the primary pair of glasses.


Digital Eye Strain and Digital Device Stats

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans suffer from digital eye strain.


Device use in America


  • Nearly 90% use digital devices for two or more hours each day

  • 70% use two or more devices at the same time

  • Nearly 60% use digital devices for five or more hours each day

  • 76% look at their digital devices in the hour before going to sleep


Children and Device Use


  • 65% of parents report that their children (under the age of 18) spend two or more hours on digital devices on a daily basis.

  • More than three-fourths of parents report being somewhat concerned about the impact of digital devices on children’s developing eyes.

  • 33% of children use a digital device three or more hours a day


Here are symptoms your patients should be made aware of:


  • Headaches

  • Tired or burning eyes

  • Slow focusing

  • Blurred vision at distance

  • Dry eyes

  • Neck, back or shoulder pain


Source: The Vision Council 2016 Digital Eye Strain Report


Learn More about DES

Learn more about digital eye strain and what you can do to help solve it with your patients by downloading our comprehensive white paper: