Is eye strain on the rise?

Spending too many hours staring at a screen can cause eyes to be dry, irritated, and tired

Is eye strain on the rise?
Is eye strain on the rise?

Since the start of the pandemic, adults have spent, on average, more than 13 hours a day looking at some type of technology screen. It’s not a surprise that this could be affecting our eyes.

Spending too many hours staring at a screen can cause eyes to be dry, irritated, and tired. This occurs because you tend to blink less while staring at the blue light from a screen, and the movement of the screen makes your eyes work harder to focus.

An eye exam can help detect those and other eye problems early, when they’re most treatable. They include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, which could cause vision loss.

During a routine eye exam, you’ll be asked about your vision and general health, your visual acuity will be tested (how well you can read an eye chart at different distances), and, if you wear eyeglasses, your prescription will be checked.

Your ophthalmologist or optician will also examine the optic nerve and retina after dilating your eyes with drops, and look inside your eyes with a microscope.

Even run-of-the-mill vision impairment may be linked to poorer memory and a greater risk of depression. And after the difficult year we’ve all had, that’s just another reason not to neglect our eye health.

If you need new glasses, Consumer Reports says you might want to consider buying from an online store. It found that folks buying glasses online paid about $140 less than in traditional walk-in stores.

About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.