Digital device users are vulnerable to vision-related problems due to the high visual demands of computers and other digital screens
Digital eye strain (DES), also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition that affects the eye and your vision due to using digital devices for an extended period.
Optometrist Sim Wei Kiat, the founder of My Optometry, said: “It is not just computers alone but other digital devices with screens such as smartphones, tablets and gaming devices which also cause DES.
“When viewing digital screens for extended periods, you will experience discomfort and vision problems, and the severity increases with the amount of digital screen use.”
The eyes often must work harder when viewing digital screens. For example, when reading on a digital screen, factors such as reduced contrast between the letters and the background and the presence of glare and reflections on the screen makes viewing challenging.
As a result, digital device users are vulnerable to vision-related problems due to the high visual demands of computers and other digital screens.
Prevalence and risks of DES
“DES is quite common and affects 80 per cent of digital devices users. And normally DES is a combination of eye and vision problems such as dry eyes, itchiness, and blurriness,” explained Sim.
“Anyone with prolonged use of digital devices will experience DES. However, it is most prevalent among teens, young adults and adults.
“This is because they mostly use digital devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets in their daily lives for work and leisure.
“But we cannot rule out children as well. Because in today’s world, children are required to use computers and tablets for their education and studies, at home and even in schools. So, now we see more children being affected by DES.”
He also noted during the pandemic, when the lockdowns were implemented, people could not go out and were constantly using digital devices. This has resulted in a rise in DES problems and myopia progression, especially among children.
Signs of DES include constant eye tiredness, pain and discomfort, vision problems and inability to focus because of weakness in the eye muscles; if not treated or addressed early, it could lead to infection and even blindness.
Contact lens for eye and vision problems
Sim explained that there isn’t a single type of contact lens that fits every eye and addresses every vision and eye issue.
Therefore, contact lenses must be fitted specifically to the patient’s needs and requirements. Sometimes, a person may even require two different lenses for each eye because they have different needs.
The wide range of Acuvue contact lenses from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care offers comfort and clarity by catering to various eye and vision needs.
“They regularly introduce new contact lens innovations that support different eye and vision problems, including contact lenses for dry eyes and with blue light filters. They also have myopia-control contact lenses”.
Promoting eye health awareness
“So far, in Malaysia, we notice that the awareness of eye health is low. Most people only to get their eye power checked when they visit an optometry practice. They are unaware of the comprehensive eye examination service available at optometry practices.”
My Optometry, established in 2019, offers a comprehensive eye examination for all ages, from young to old.
“We aim to provide the highest standards of optometry eye care services. We also focus on myopia control in children. The comprehensive myopia control procedure includes measuring and examining the axial eye length, eye power and eye muscle.”
Before the pandemic, My Optometry collaborated with preschools to conduct eye screening and create awareness.
“We did eye screening as well as conducted talks on eye health and vision, healthy eating, and proper eye protection to preschoolers,” he shared, adding that he hoped to restart this programme soon.
“We also observe World Sight Day (WSD) every year. And for WSD 2022 in October, we will promote eye health awareness on social media throughout the month to encourage the public to get a comprehensive eye examination.” – The Health