How much time do we spend staring at screens? According to a Shire-sponsored US-only survey of 1,001 adults with self-reported Dry Eye or Dry Eye symptoms, 68 percent said they use screens at least 6 hours a day, and 32 percent use screens at least 10 hours a day. And 75 percent said that even after working on their computer all day, they continue using screens at home.
And it’s not just how much time we spend with screens. It’s our deeper attachment to them, even at the expense of other things. For example, 62 percent of survey participants said they’d rather give up makeup for a day than go without their smartphone. Forty-two percent said they’d rather sacrifice time with friends than go without their phone.
You’re probably not shocked by these statistics, considering the countless ways screens provide us convenience and connection. Moving from screen to screen throughout the day is simply a part of modern life. Screens help us to work, and then unwind from work. To intensely focus, and then enjoy some downtime. But all that screen time could be making your eyes feel dry, itchy, and irritated. And that’s a red flag for Dry Eye, a condition that affects millions of adults in the US.
Here’s the good news: there’s no need to make drastic changes and start living a screen-free life. But you can take small steps to reduce your screen time in ways that may help your eyes feel less irritated.
Here are three steps you can take today:
Take regular breaks from your phone or computer screen
If you spend your days squinting at screens, it’s important to give your eyes a break by pausing occasionally to look away. Some call it the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screen at an object at least 20 feet away, and do this for at least 20 seconds.
Turn down the brightness on your computer screen
The brighter the screen, the harder your eyes have to work to see. Turning down the brightness is especially important at night, when many screens automatically increase their brightness.
Talk to your eye doctor about screens and eye health
According to a Shire sponsored U.S. only survey, 1,000 eye care professionals overwhelmingly recommend regular checkups at least once a year. But only 15 percent of the professionals from the survey reported discussing screen use during routine eye exams. Consider this your opportunity to be proactive: If your eyes are bothering you, set an appointment and raise the topic yourself!
To learn more about screening responsibly to show your eyes some love, visit screenresponsibly.com.
This article was produced by Thrive Global and sponsored by Shire.