Specsavers has released new research to help educate patients and the generic public on the impacts of digital eye strain.

With more people working from home than ever before due to COVID-19, and people spending more time on screens than ever before, optometrists are expecting to see an increase in patients who are experiencing vision disturbances and other symptoms due to digital eye strain.

The new research1 reveals that nine out of ten (90%)  Australians claim to have experienced at least one symptom of digital eye strain while at work.

On top of this, 48% of Australian office workers have experienced difficulty concentrating while at work, 41% have had difficulty focussing, 40% have had sore, tired, burning or itchy eyes and 38% have felt like they couldn’t keep their eyes open while at work.

Specsavers Optometrist Greeshma Patel says if patients are going from remote working or studying to a Zoom hang out with friends or family, to a marathon session of Netflix, their overall time spent in front of a screen may add up to 10 hours or more a day.

The campaign, which will be released across the next few weeks in both Australia and New Zealand communicates the symptoms of digital eye strain and what patients can do to combat it.

National key findings from the research project include:

  • Australians who have experienced symptoms say neck, shoulder or back soreness (63%) and headaches (58%) are two most common symptoms of digital eye strain, with eight in ten experiencing one or both symptoms while working.
  • Australian office workers who suffer from symptoms relating to digital eye strain while working experience their symptoms 2 to 3 times per week (10 times per month) on average, with one in five (18%) experiencing one or more symptoms at least once a day.
  • Younger Australians who experience symptoms of digital eye strain are more likely than their older counterparts to experience symptoms more frequently, as Millennials (70%) are more likely than Gen X (62%) and Baby Boomers (57%) to experience symptoms at least once per week.
  • Seven in ten (72%) Australian office workers who experience symptoms of digital eye strain while working need to take a break when they have these experiences before returning to work.
  • The majority (85%) of Australian office workers who experience symptoms of digital eye strain while working say it impacts their productivity, making them 19% less productive on average.