Eye health problems are increasing, an Optometry Australia report found that a higher proportion of Australians in 2022 are reporting issues such as dry, irritated or watery eyes, itchy eyes, and sensitivity to light.
The impact of increased screen time
88% of participants in the report said they have experienced sore or tired eyes when using a computer or tablet, which is an increase of 9% from 2020.
Our eyes are not designed for spending a long time looking at detailed images at the exact same distance from our face. Using a screen – either a computer, tablet, mobile or television means our eyes are performing the same task over and over again for hours at a time.
If you already have uncorrected vision problems or are wearing the wrong prescription, this can make problems even worse.
Screen time can also increase your risk of developing myopia – also known as short-sightedness. Your genes are only partly responsible for developing myopia, but close-focus is a contributing factor. Children who spend a lot of time focusing on near objects, such as books or screens, have a greater chance of becoming short-sighted. Especially if they do not spend time outside, as exposure to outside light is a factor to combating myopia.