For many of us, our days are spent glued to our computers by day, our smartphones by night.
Increasingly sedentary lifestyles are wreaking havoc on our health, promoting obesity, and increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.
But, our reliance on technology is also harming our sight, experts have warned.
So widespread is the problem, that 65 per cent of Americans now suffer ‘digital eye strain’, they said.
Symptoms include dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches and neck and back pain, according to a report from The Vision Council.
Furthermore, 90 per cent of patients fail to talk to their optician about the extent of their digital use.
Providers should educate patients about ways to prevent the problem – and inform them about eyewear options to limit the impact of devices, the report recommended.
Digital eye strain encompasses the physical discomfort felt after two or more hours in front of a digital screen.
It is commonly associated with close to mid-range distance of digital screens, including desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, tablets and e-readers.
The Digital Eye Strain Report 2015 analyzed data from a VisionWatch survey of more than 10,000 adults.
Eight out of every 10 people suffering the affliction use two or more devices simultaneously, the report found.
Furthermore, 96 per cent of people with digital eye strain spend at least two hours a day on their devices.
The report determined that a combination of factors foster the onset of digital eye strain.
Prolonged periods of technology use may exacerbate symptoms of the eye strain.
The proximity of the screen, the frequency and duration of use and the degree of exposure to high-energy visible or blue light emitted by video screens were also determined to play a role.
Mike Daley, CEO of The Vision Council, a trade organization for the optical industry, said: ‘When using technology, many people think suffering with digital eye strain is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be.
‘The optical industry has responded to the shift in digital habits and has developed lens technology to protect eyes from blue light, glare and other environmental stressors.’
These lens are commonly referred to as computer glasses.
They are constructed specifically for the mid-distance range at which users typically view a digital screen.
These glasses can be purchased without a prescription.
They are customized to reduce blurriness and pixilation, decrease brightness, block blue light and minimize glare while working in front of one or more screens.
The group wants doctors to start talking to their patients about whether they should get these computer glasses.
Additionally, the report encourages doctors to educate patients about the impact of their daily electronic use.
Through education and the monitoring of digital eye strain symptoms, eye care providers may be able to better reduce symptoms in the future.