Eye Strain Statistics (April 2022)

Written by <strong>Kirsten Nunez</strong>
Written by Kirsten Nunez
Medically reviewed by <strong>Nancy Hammond, M.D</strong>
Medically reviewed by Nancy Hammond, M.D

We’ve collected data to create this comprehensive resource on everything you need to know about eye strain today. By presenting research and statistics both, we hope to help all our readers live more comfortable, healthy lives.

Amid COVID-19, screen time continues to increase and
screens may be getting closer and closer to the eyes for
many people. As many Americans work and learn from
home, employees and students are spending an
increasing amount of time in front of digital displays that
emit potentially harmful levels of blue light.

The eyes are one of the most important organs and a window into what is going on inside our body. Even so, many people seem to ignore eye care when using digital devices, which might have unanticipated health consequences.

Our objective with this report is to raise awareness about digital eye strain, and its impact on our society.

Sections

Key Takeaways (U.S Data)

Activities Associated with Digital Use

Work

0 %

Reading

0 %

Waking up

0 %

Travel

0 %

Meal preparation

0 %

The Increase of Searches for Eye Strain Over Years on Google

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is the physical discomfort that we feel in our eyes after sitting in front of a computer for too long. It’s often associated with our close proximity to screens – such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and cell phones – which emit blue light from their display screens into our eyes. 

Spending hours at a time staring at a screen tends to reduce one’s blink rate, causing dry, irritated or itchy eyes. 

93.5% of adults spend more than two hours a day using a digital device on average, and 77% report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain! 

Most Common Symptoms

Hobbies and Activities that are Moving Online!

Activities Associated with Digital Device Use

Recipe

0 %
Of adults use digital
devices to find a recipe

Directions

0 %
Of women use their phones to get directions

Weather

0 %
Of adults use their phones
to check the weather

Online Shopping

0 %
Of individuals in their 40s
use PCs to shop online

Alarm Clock

0 %
Of adults in their 20s use a phone as an alarm clock

Digital Devices Most Commonly Used

The use of technology can have unintended consequences for our health. Here are some interesting stats that show how most of the adults are high-users of digital devices

78%
78% of Americans look at their digital devices in the hour before going to sleep
73%
Adults under 30 experience the highest rates of digital eye strain symptoms (73%) compared with other age groups
44.7%
41% of women report experiencing back pain or text neck symptoms compared to 34% of men

Mobile Device vs TV Over Years

Data shows that mobile devices are trending over TVs over the last 8 years

What is the Impact on Adults?

Adults are the ultimate device multitaskers. Stats below show that adults are using digital devices in a much higher rate compared to other age groups

93.5%
Percentage of adults who spend more than two hours a day using a digital device on average
77.0%
Percentage of adults experiencing eye strain
62.3%
Of adults don't know that digital eye strain can be prevented by using eyewear
74.3%
Nearly eight in 10 take their smartphones to bend and use them as alarm clocks
65.0%
Nearly six in 10 adults spends at least nine hours on digital devices each day

Most common symptoms:

What is the Impact on Children?

American adults report their children experience after being exposed to two or more hours of screen time:

Most common symptoms:

43.5%
Nearly three in eight kids spends more than three hours a day using digital devices
26.7%
Of parents don't limit their children's screen time at all
79.0%
Percentage of children engaging or playing with digital devices
67.4.%
Watching TV is still one of the most popular activities for children

What is Impact on Gen X?

Most of the X-ers use digital devices for news, current events, and researching new products

What is Impact on Boomers?

Boomers are supporting digital innovation more and more everyday

32.8%
Nearly one-third of Gen X spends at least nine hours on digital devices each day.
63.0%
Six in 10 Gen Xers report symptoms of digital strain.
74.4%
Nearly three in four report not knowing that digital devices emit blue light.
48.0%
Gen Xers are more likely to own a tablet or e-readers compared to other age groups.
26.0%
One in four boomers spend at least nine hours on digital devices each day
81.2%
Of boomers are more likely to own a TV compared to other age groups.
40.6%
Of boomers say they would wear computer eyewear if an eye care provider informed them of the potential danger of blue light.
51.7%
Experience symptoms of digital eye strain to a lesser degree than the other two groups, possibly due to less time spent in front of a screen at work

How To Reduce Eye Strain

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a wavelength of the visible light spectrum. It vibrates within the 380 to 500 nanometer range, has the shortest wavelength and highest energy, and about one-third of all visible light is considered high-energy visible, or “blue,” light. Sunlight is the most significant source of blue light. Artificial sources of blue light include fluorescent light, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, LEDs, flat screen LED televisions, computer monitors and smartphones and tablet screens.

Concern About Blue Light Exposure

Shorter and higher energy than the other kinds of light, bluer light flickers easier and longer than other kinds of visible electromagnetic waves. This flickering creates a glare which reduces contrast and creates a hazing effect on the image which is bad for vision. This can cause eye strain, physical and mental fatigue and headaches if you use your electronic devices for hours on end.

The medical profession is concerned about the exposure level of blue light for adults and children. Here are some interesting statistics:

0 %
of adults have a job that requires prolonged use of a tablet or computer
0 %
of teens between the ages of 12 to 17 use electronic devices at least occasionally
0 %
of teens have access to or have a personal computer or a laptop.

Conclusion

Individuals of all ages are now using digital gadgets for business and social purposes for long periods of time each day, and this has become very normal. Until people decide to take care of their eyes, digital eye strain will continue to impact an increasing number of Americans. Use digital devices wisely to avoid the pain that comes with digital eye strain.

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