Duval County

Working from home increases screen time, increases eye issues

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Working from home means an increase in screen time.

According to eye care specialists, an increase in screen time is damaging to your eyes.

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“I am on a computer from 8:30 in the morning until 5 o’clock in the afternoon,” Amy Hewitt said.

Like many people right now, the pandemic has caused Amy Hewitt to stare at a screen all day, everyday.

She found this leads to constant strain.

“I did get migraines more often than normal here lately,” Hewitt said.

“So that, between the dryness, it always felt like I had something in my eye.”

According to a recent survey done by Vision Direct, the average person in the U.S. spends over 13 hours per day looking at screens.

At the end of 2019, the average person was spending only 10 hours a day looking at screens, according to Vision Direct data.

Dr. Kimberly Riordan, an optometrist at Florida Eye Specialists, says that as simple as it sounds, you need to keep blinking.

“What it does is take the tears and [spreads] them evenly over the ocular surface and keeps them lubricated,” Dr. Riordan said.

Dr. Riordan said that, due to computer, cell phone and television use, the increase in screen time is causing a wide array of eye issues.

“[It’s causing] those dry, tired, itchy, burning, achy eyes,” Dr. Riordan said.

“Patients who wear contact lenses, we are starting to see them not tolerate the contact lenses.”

Florida Eye Specialists says that, with an over 60 percent increase in LASIK eye surgery evaluation, many people are saying goodbye to glasses and contacts and hello to LASIK.

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“It took less than 15 minutes, I think, once they got me in the LASIK suite, and I could see leaving there 30 minutes later,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt said the difference LASIK made on her eyes has been life-changing.

“I saw 20/20 with my contacts, but after LASIK, what I see is just crisp,” Hewitt said.