The average worker begins to suffer from tired eyes at 2pmafter a day staring at a screen.
From scrolling through phones to working at laptops andwinding down watching television, it’s almost impossible to avoid the brightlights of digital devices today.
A study of 2,000 adults looked at the effects screen timehas on our eyes, finding on average five and a half hours a day are spentlooking at them.
Over half the nation spends the working week looking at amonitor and 88 per cent of those said their eyes feel tired, dry and heavy as aresult.
Headaches caused by eye strain have affected over one thirdof office workers and one in five has experienced blurred or disturbed vision.
Proving how much we rely on devices, 36 per cent of adultsadmitted they wouldn’t be able to avoid looking at a display for an entire 24hours and two in five can’t recall their last screen-free day.
The study was commissioned by Hycosan and Optase Eye Care. Eye care expert and oculoplastic surgeon,Sabrina Shah-Desai said: “The results demonstrate how screens have really takenover our lives, they are everywhere we look.”
“Obviously it’sdifficult to avoid them, especially in a working environment, but it’s vitalthat we take steps to look after our eyes and have regular breaks fromartificial light and digital devices.
“Office workers, in general, aremore prone to dry eye disease as we naturally blink less when concentrating,blinking as few as 1-3 times per minute when focusing on a computer screenversus 15-20 blinks per minute when we’re not.
“It’s these longer periods between blinking wheresymptoms of dry eyes arise, causing redness and a feeling of ‘grittiness’ andblurred vision.
“Our eyes are essential, and we should treat them well tominimise any long term damage and maintain optimum health.”
The study also found over half of those questioned believetheir working atmosphere – including lighting, air conditioning and screens –is having a negative effect on their eyes.
As a result, 27 per cent have adjusted the computerbrightness and text settings and half took regular device breaks in order tolimit the damage to their eyes.
One quarter even started wearing glasses for monitor use andtwo in 10 have tried lubricating eye drops.
Half past nine seems to be the self-imposed screen off time,as results showed on average, Brits try to avoid looking at devices from 9.25pmeach evening, however one in 10 still admitted to using a screen looking atuntil midnight.
This has led to over one quarter suffering from what canonly be described as a ‘screen hangover’ – struggling with their eyesight morethan usual the following day after being up late looking at screens - while 36per cent feel ‘more awake’ if they avoid this.
Surprisingly, TVs were revealed as the most common screen,with 72 per cent looking at one during an average day, followed by 68 per centviewing a mobile phone.
Second-hand screen time was found to have a big impact, withthree in 10 having experienced their partner using a mobile in bed whilethey’re trying to sleep and 55 per cent seeing phones used at social events.
This led to one in 10 admitting phones have affected theirrelationship because their partner was ‘distracted’, and many said their otherhalf responds quicker to their mobile than to them.
While not actively watching, almost two thirds have beenaffected by a TV on in the background and similarly 51 per cent have beenunable to avoid televisions in pubs or restaurants.
A further six in 10 admitted to looking at multiple devicesat the same time, such as their laptop and phone.
This rise in digital use has caused one third of parents andgrandparents to worry about how often their child is looking at screens.
In order to reduce the impact of this, 38 per cent encourageoffline activities while one third set limits of screen time.
Follow Sabrina Shah-Desai’s expert tips for healthy eyes inthe workplace:
1. Follow the 20, 20, 20 rule - every 20 minuteslook away at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds
2. Use a preservative-free eye drop like Hycosan to rehydrate the eyes and reduce that ‘gritty’ feeling
3. After a long day, try a moist heat mask likeOptase to restore moisture and loosen the eyes naturally hydrating oils