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Patients concerned about digital device use

A new report from CooperVision has found widespread interest from patients in discussing digital device use with their eye care professional

Person on ipad and computer

CooperVision has highlighted how concerned patients are over the use of digital devices in relation to eye health in a new report.

The Digital Device Usage and Your Eyes report surveyed contact lens wearers and non-wearers about how much they use digital devices.

It found that globally, 19% of people who use vision correction and 18% of people who do not, are concerned about the amount of time spent looking at screens. This increases to 26% globally for contact lens wearers.

Vice president of global professional and clinical affairs at CooperVision, Gary Osborn, said: “It is clear that people around the world are beginning to consider the effects of digital device use on their eyes, including discomfort symptoms associated with digital eye fatigue.”

CooperVision found that interest in exploring ways to reduce eye tiredness with their eye care professional is high at 78% globally. In the UK, 66% of contact lens wearers are seeking ways to reduce eye tiredness. However, discussion rates are low at 14% globally.

A follow up survey found three in four contact lens wearers are willing to pay a premium for an option that reduces the symptoms of digital eye fatigue.

The contact lens company said that the report reveals multiple opportunities for eye care professionals to deepen patient relationships.

“While there’s widespread interest by patients in discussing digital device use with their eye care professional, that’s not happening in large part. Bridging this conversation gap is a substantial opportunity for eye care professionals, helping them provide better care while remaining even more relevant in the lives of their patients as device use skyrockets,” Mr Osborn added.

The report also details how respondents cope with discomfort from digital device use, which phrases patients use to describe symptoms, as well as the similarities and differences among patients based on location.

Contact lens wearers in the UK reported the highest rate of taking longer breaks (74%) to cope with discomfort from digital device use. This differs in Japan where 70% of contact lens wearers will use eye drops to cope.

CooperVision commissioned YouGov America for the report, and surveyed a total of 9343 people in the UK, Australia, France, US, Germany, Japan and Spain. The follow up survey saw a further 18,099 people respond in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Spain and Italy.