Computers & Your Eyes: A 3-Part Series

Eye strain is the symptom that most people associate with overuse of electronic visual display devices — from television to laptops & desktops — to smartphones — to handheld games and ebooks.

Smartphone ownership has grown explosively with 68% of Americans owning smartphones in 2015 compared to 35% in 2011. Most adults under age 50 (79%-85%) are smartphone owners, and of the middle-age to senior group (age 50-64) more than half own and use smartphones. This growth has lead to increased rates of a number of vision conditions.

Perhaps even more alarming, many health professionals regard smartphone addiction with its negative consequences as an emerging health trend.

In this 3 part series we’re examining the consequences of damage from these electronic devices:

Daily usage of smartphones and other electronic devices has grown by about 11% every year. As of the beginning of 2014 American adults used smartphones a little more than 3 hours a day; as of the end of 2015 we can expect this number to be close to 4 hours a day. Total use of electronic devices including other computers and handheld electronic devices is probably 6 hours a day or more, of course much higher for those whose professions involve computer use.

Smartphone use has a number of side effects which are more severe with higher levels of use.
Smartphones are used on average a little more than three hours a day, only a quarter of which is for communication.

  • sleep interruption
  • circadian rhythm interference
  • vision development in children
  • smartphone addiction (especially teens)
  • damage to retina/photoreceptors/RPE leading the many macular and retinal conditions
  • dry eye syndrome
  • computer vision syndrome
  • glaucoma/myopia connection
  • social isolation

The increased incidence of many vision conditions is thought by some researchers to be directly tied to increased use of these devices – which have, nonetheless, become quite essential in our daily lives.

The goal of this series is to guide you through the more significant hazards and share how to mitigate or limit the potential damage through both computer/smartphone use habits, lifestyle tips, and nutrition.