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Press Releases Pennsylvania Optometric Association
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Kelsey Rodkey
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O: 717-233-6455
Kelsey@poaeyes.org

Digital Eye Strain Caused by Overexposure to Computers According to Survey

The Pennsylvania Optometric Association Shares Steps to Relieve Digital Eye Strain at Work

Harrisburg, March 1, 2016 - The average U.S. worker spends seven hours a day on the computer either in the office or working from home and the American Optometric Association's (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q® survey reports that 58 percent of adults have experienced digital eye strain or vision problems as a direct result.

Symptoms of digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain. The Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA) recognizes the need to address this issue, and as Save Your Vision Month 2016 kicks off in March, they encourage both employees and employers to make eye health a priority. The five tips below can be easily implemented in most office spaces:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
  • Keep a distance: The POA recommends sitting a comfortable distance from the computer monitor where you can easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright posture and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 28 inches from the eye to the front surface of the screen.
  • View from a different angle: Ideally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees, or about 4 to 5 inches, below eye level as measured from the center of the screen.
  • Decrease glare: While there is no way to completely minimize glare from light sources, consider using a glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
  • Blink often: Minimize your chances of developing dry eyes when using a computer by making an effort to blink frequently.

"As more people spend their days at work on a computer and their free time on handheld devices, doctors of optometry are seeing more patients who are experiencing digital eye strain," said Steven A. Loomis, O.D., president of the AOA. "The problem can be relieved by taking simple steps. Just looking away from the computer for brief periods of time throughout the day can help with discomfort and long term eye problems."

Additional findings on technology and eye health from the AOA Eye-Q Survey:

  • 59 percent of those surveyed responded that desktop computers and laptops were the devise that bothered them most. Mobile phones were second at 26 percent, followed by tablets at 8 percent.
  • 61 percent of people surveyed admit to using multiple digital devices at the same time.
  • 56 percent responded that their primary use for digital devices is entertainment (reading, watching movies or shows, video games).
  • 76 percent of people know that blue light from digital devices affects vision.

If you think you are experiencing digital eye strain, schedule an appointment with a doctor of optometry. To find one nearby, or for additional information on eye health in the workplace, please visit www.poaeyes.org.

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About the Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA):

The Pennsylvania Optometric Association is the professional organization for doctors of optometry in Pennsylvania. An affiliate of the American Optometric Association, the POA promotes the highest quality eye and vision care by optometrists, represents optometry to state government, provides its members with post-graduate education and membership benefits, and conducts activities in the interest of the visual welfare of the public. For more information, visit www.poaeyes.org.

About the American Eye-Q® survey:
The tenth annual AOA American Eye-Q® survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB). From February 19-March 4, 2015, PSB conducted 1,000 online interviews among Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of the U.S. general population. (Margin of error is plus or minus 3.10 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.)


About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit www.aoa.org.

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