CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many people switched to working from home and virtual learning. This increased their screen time and hours spent on the computer each day.
According to a report by Eyesafe, the average screen time per person rose 60% to more than 13 hours a day, in March 2020.
“There’s nothing else to do but the computer,” David Berger, an eye patient, said.
“Ultraviolet radiation is harmful to the back of the eye, and these two wavelengths of light, about 400 nanometers, lay right next to each other, so as a precaution now we are using blue light filters in all patients using computer lenses,” said Dr. Walt Ramsey, an Optometrist.
Optometrists say they have seen more vision issues in their patients related to computer use including eye strain. This can lead to headaches, frontal headaches, pain around and behind the eyes, and dry eyes.
“It’s making them become more nearsighted and that is a problem. That’s a big epidemic across the world. Nearsightedness is gaining rapidly, especially here in the United States,” Dr. Ramsey said.
“They’re burning and itching. That’s why I came up here, to see the doctor about my burning and itching eyes,” Berger said.
Doctors recommend adults and children take small breaks away from screens every 20 minutes and wear glasses with a protective blue-light shield to eliminate this eye strain.
“A lot of parents want it for their children to protect their children’s eyes from long hours on the computer,” Dr. Ramsey said.
Most electronic devices also have a setting called “night mode” that can shift your screen to a yellower light that is easier on your eyes.