MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this initiative? How does screen time affect eye health?
Response: Screen responsibly is an educational initiative about the intersection between our screen use and eye health. This initiative is underscored by new national survey data and aimed at increasing our dialogue about how to love both our screens and our eyes. Screen responsibly is an extension of the eyelove campaign, which Shire launched in 2016 to elevate the importance of eye health and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Chronic Dry Eye, commonly referred to as Dry Eye. Since being glued to your screen can trigger Dry Eye symptoms, it is important that people are aware of ways to screen responsibly.
MedicalResearch.com: How common is the problem of Dry Eye? How is it related to excessive screen time?
Response: In the United States, nearly 30 million adults report symptoms consistent with Dry Eye. Dry Eye symptoms include a burning, itchy, stinging or gritty feeling in the eyes, episodes of blurred vision, eye redness and watery eyes. Shire is committed to addressing unmet needs within the Dry Eye patient community, and to do so, we sought to better understand their current behaviors, perceptions and knowledge around a common trigger of Dry Eye symptoms – intense screen usage.
MedicalResearch.com: What are some the key features of screen responsibly?
Response: As part of this new initiative, we have partnered with behavior-change media and technology company, Thrive Global, founded by Arianna Huffington. The partnership was a natural fit given Thrive’s commitment to helping others achieve a more balanced relationship with technology and enhance their overall well-being and performance – with eye health now a focal point of that discussion.
We also conducted a survey in 2017 among adults with self-reported Dry Eye or Dry Eye symptoms, as well as optometrists and ophthalmologists. Results revealed unique insights into the relationship between people with Dry Eye and screens. More adults reported that they know how to drive, eat, spend money and exercise more responsibly than they know how to screen responsibly.
On screenresponsibly.com, consumers can find information on ways to live a screen-healthy lifestyle, including a screen personality quiz that offers tips and custom content based on their unique screen style. On myeyelove-ecp.com, eye care professionals can find further results from the screen responsibly survey and resources to share with their patients.
MedicalResearch.com: What do you think were key findings from the screen responsibly survey?
Response: Blink rate drops by nearly 50 percent when you screen, which can trigger Dry Eye symptoms. According to the survey, three out of four eye care professionals reported that they are diagnosing more patients with Dry Eye compared to five years ago, and 88 percent who had seen an increase in the diagnosis or symptoms of Dry Eye in their patients believed it could be attributed to smartphone use. Sixty-nine percent were concerned about the impact that screens have on their patients’ eyes.
MedicalResearch.com: What does it mean to screen.blink.listen? Do you have any tips to help readers screen responsibly?
Response: We understand that it can be difficult to reduce our time using screens, but there are ways to keep loving your screens while also taking steps to protect your eyes. Screen responsibly involves screen.blink.listen: keep watching your screens, but also watch out for your eyes; remember to follow tips like taking blink breaks as part of a healthy screen routine; and hear what your eyes are telling you and chat with your eye doctor about bothersome symptoms.
Other helpful tips to screen responsibly include:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes you’re on your screens, you should take at least a 20-second break, looking 20 feet into the distance
- Adjust your screen lighting so your eyes aren’t strained in light that’s too dim or too bright
- Use smart speakers to give your eyes a rest while still getting things done
- Sit at least 25 inches away from your computer screen
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from the screen responsibly initiative?
Response: Results from the screen responsibly survey showed that now is time more than ever for education around responsible screen use. Nearly one in three adults said they use screens over 10 hours a day, although 58 percent of eye doctors thought that six or more hours of use is too much for patients to spend on screens. However, that love for screens can impact our eye health. Through screen responsibly, we want readers to know that there are ways to keep loving your screens while also taking steps to protect your eyes. The initiative encourages people to develop a healthy screen routine, visit screenresponsibly.com for more information, and chat with their eye doctor about Dry Eye and bothersome symptoms.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?
Response: The screen responsibly survey was conducted online within the United States by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of Shire between November 14, 2017 and December 3, 2017. The consumer arm of the survey included a total of 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18+ with self-reported Dry Eye symptoms or Dry Eye diagnosis, and the professional arm of the survey included 1,000 eye care professionals in the U.S. who are optometrists (n=500) or ophthalmologists (n = 500) (ECPs).
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