How Good Is Your Digital Eye Health?

New eye-watering figures have revealed that the average British adult spends a whopping 50 days a year looking at their smart phone screen, spurring a new awareness campaign from vision experts to help combat the negative impact excessive screen use is having on the UK’s eyesight.

As a world-leading innovator in spectacle lens technology, is encouraging Brits to ‘look up’ and take extra precuations to avoid eyesight issues and discomfort caused by digital screen usage. Increased daily use of mobile devices, combined with millions of Brits now staring at pixelated screens for up to 85% of their day, means that visual fatigue, or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), is becoming increasingly common in the UK.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition resulting from looking at a computer or other display device for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time; because pixels constantly refresh and the eyes must constantly refocus to see the screen clearly, the eye muscles are unable to recover from the strain. It is also proven that people blink less frequently when staring a a screen, which causes eyes to dry out and in some cases can result in blurred vision. Glasses wearers that have incorrect or outdated prescription lenses can also be more susceptible to CVS.

Girl wearing eyeglasses with eyesight problems trying to read phone text at home

Signs of CVS are often overlooked, but left unchecked, and could lead to longer term eye health issues. Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain, and is encouraging sufferers of these ailments to contact their local optician for an eye exam. Fortunately, computer vision syndrome and digital eyestrain is not a permanent vision problem, but something that can be controlled with some simple changes in behaviours

1 Prevent eye strain with ‘Eye Yoga’

Woman sitting at laptop rubbing her eyes

It goes without saying that taking breaks from screens will help to reduce eye-strain. An easy way to get into a positive habit is to follow the  20:20:20 rule.

Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Or take part in eye yoga, anywhere, anytime. Look to the left, hold the position, repeat looking right. Look up, hold the position, repeat looking down. Repeat four times, closing your eyes and relaxing in between.

2 Use the latest tech to combat CVS  

Eyezen lenses, with first of its kind DualOptim technology, are specialist ‘computer lenses’, designed to prevent or reduce eye strain or visual fatigue. Wearing these lenses can support your eyes from working so hard especially when using digital devices. Eyezen lenses can be worn even if you don’t need a prescription.

Different waves lengths of light, such as Ultraviolet and Blue-Violet light, can also cause premature eye ageing,. Eye Protect System is a unique filtering system that can be embedded into Eyezen lenses to create Blue-Violet light filtering glasses. 

3 Keep an eye on vision with regular eye tests 

4 people all sitting and looking at their phones

Having regular eye tests and wearing the right corrective prescription lenses is the most important way you can protect your sight. By keeping on top of your optician appointments, or maybe going for your first one, you can maintain one of the most important senses we have and see as clearly as possible, for as long as possible.

4 Take a break and go outdoors


Closeup front view of a senior couple jogging in a forest and having fun. They are running on a winding forest road, laughing and doing their healthy routine. Both holding water bottle.Trees in background have turned orange and yellow and there's a lot of leaves on the side of the road.

Pic: iStockphoto

It’s important to take a break from screens and to go outside. Looking at objects in different distances and in natural light can be beneficial for your eyes and sight.



Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!