With persistent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, some traditionally in-person activities – work, school and social interactions – will likely remain remote more often than usual for the foreseeable future. As a result, the use of digital devices has surged, with Americans logging an average of 13 hours per day watching screens, up from between seven and 10 hours per day before the pandemic started.
The increase in screen time has contributed to more exposure to blue light, which has been linked to short- and long-term health problems such as age-related macular degeneration, disrupted sleep cycles, and digital eye strain.
In fact, nearly 60% of U.S. adults report symptoms of digital eye strain, which may result from extended computer and smartphone usage and can contribute to dry eyes, headaches and neck or shoulder pain.
Dr. Scott Edmonds, Chief Eye Care Officer for UnitedHealthcare Vision, discusses the health implications of excessive exposure to blue light.