Ophthalmologists believe that we are facing an ‘epidemic’ of eye problems that are the result of the increased period of time that people spend screen working, according the new research released by Bausch + Lomb (B&L).
The report, released by the contact lens manufacturer this week (20 September), found that people’s use of digital screens has increased by 42% over the last five years. A total 92% of the 1000 people questioned said they use digital screens at work, with over half of them (67%) spending over five hours in front of a screen. Furthermore, of this group, one in 10 admitted to spending eight hours a day on screens, not accounting for the personal, social or leisure time they spend on their mobiles.
Asking respondents how their eyes felt at the end of a working day, B&L reports that more than half (56%) said their eyes were “tired,” 14% said they had “irritated” eyes, 11% admitted to having trouble focusing and 10% said their eyes were sore.
Just a quarter of respondents that said they spent a large amount of time screen working daily said they had no eye symptoms at all.
Coinciding with the research, B&L has released a new contact lens, Ultra, that is designed with high levels of wettability to help prevent the onset of dry, tired eyes associated to a high level of digital device usage.
Optometrist David Shannon, who has used the B&L Ultra contact lenses, said: “It is quite an achievement to develop a contact lens with these characteristics.
“Traditionally silicone hydrogel lenses have needed more silicone and less water for increased oxygen permeability in the process, becoming less soft and with surfaces that did not wet well. This is quite a balance of properties, combining exceptional oxygen permeability with increased water content and a wettable surface in a lens that is softer.”