Glasses have been around for hundreds of years, (anyone remember Ben Franklin?) but a higher percentage of young people are needing glasses for vision problems than ever before. Vision problems tend to increase as we age, but millennials are having more vision problems and at a younger age than previous generations.
Nearly 70% of millennials experience eye strain, and more people are nearsighted than ever before. This is thought to be due to the way millennials live their daily lives. Technology is a ubiquitous part of work, school, and entertainment. This strains our eyes, as a continuous near focus on a phone, tablet, or other screens, has some negative effects on our eyes.
Why do more people need glasses now?
With faster internet, more and better content (Thank you YouTube!), we have developed some bad habits:
- Prolonged periods of time spent focusing on devices
- Less time in natural daylight
- Using devices in the dark
- Reduced blinking when looking at screens
These behaviors in combination with the light emitted from the screen and the small text often displayed mean that people are constantly putting a strain on their eyes. This condition is called “Computer Vision Syndrome,” or “Digital Eye Strain” and one aspect of modern life results in eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and vision problems.
What can I do to avoid vision issues?
Basically, the answer is: “Take a Break!” The 20/20/20 rule is a good one: For every 20 minutes of screen time, take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away. Another easy thing to do is use artificial tears when your eyes are feeling tired, burning or your vision starts to get blurry. They are readily available at all pharmacies and online. Systane, Blink, and Refresh tears are all pretty good brands. Use them as much as you want, you can’t get “hooked” on them. That conventional wisdom was referring to the drops that say “get the red out.” Another thing that can help is just to be aware that it’s a problem. If you think that you can only use your eyes for a certain amount of time each day, then you’ll be more likely to stop watching cat videos after a few of them. I mean…come on! If you feel that it’s becoming a problem, get an eye exam to make sure nothing else is going on.
Many millennials are running into the issue that they don’t want glasses, but they’re having problems with digital eyestrain exacerbated by wearing contact lenses. The solution: LASIK. LASIK, PRK, and implantable contact lenses are just some of the fantastic options for vision correction. It’s fast, safe, permanent, and solves the “contacts” part of digital eyestrain.
At SharpeVision, we know the eye problems millennials face and have the latest technology and treatments. Vision issues have, and will continue to become more common as our society continues to use technology and focus on screens of various sizes. If you are looking for solutions, there is no better place to look than SharpeVision. We offer free comprehensive exams.
– Dr. Matthew Sharpe, MD