Digital Eye Strain

Digital Eyestrain – a modern day condition.

Australians are leading world consumers of tablets, smartphones and computers, with 80% of Australians now owning and using a smartphone. Australians spend an average of 10 hours and 24 minutes on digital devices every day. Collectively, we look at our smartphones more than 440 million times a day, and 75% of us regularly engage in multi-tasking across multiple screens and devices.

The digital age has changed the way we work, learn, shop, socialise and relax; however, our eyes are not accustomed to the changes of the modern age and it is taking a toll on many of us.  The proliferation of devices and growing usage rates creates the question; how will our vision adapt to our relatively newfound habits?

In response, Drummoyne Optometry is launching a local campaign to create awareness in the community that extended device usage may lead to a condition referred to as “Digital Eye Strain”.

Recent studies show that as many as 65% of digital device users experience digital eye strain symptoms. Digital Eye Strain is the physical eye discomfort felt by many individuals after two or more hours in front of a digital screen. Symptoms can include: eye strain/fatigue, dry/itchy/burning or red eyes, blurred vision, headaches and neck/shoulder/back pain. The severity depends on the individual and the time spent on digital devices.

So how are smart phones, tablets, computers and multi device use causing digital eye stain?

  • Our eyes are focusing more intensively, switching frequently between devices and adjusting to increasingly smaller, pixelated characters;
  • The smartphone has created a new ‘ultra near’ vision zone, placing even greater demands on our eyes;
  • The normal blinking rate is often reduced from 17 or more blinks a minute to 12 to 15 blinks, affecting tear production5;
  • Digital devices are backlit and emit blue light, causing eye strain as well as being linked to disrupted sleeping patterns;
  • Posture is changing as we lean towards screens or slouch in chairs, placing additional strain on the neck and back6.

Studies show that a large proportion of the community is likely to suffer from one or more symptoms of digital eye strain, but many will not even be aware that this condition exists.  This is where we come in, as we can prescribe the latest innovative technology to alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain.  Digital use lenses eliminate glare, filter out blue light and prevent vision fatigue and the good news is that we can help both prescription wearers and non-prescription wearers.  Our recommendation is tailored to an individual’s digital environment, device usage and the type of work they do.  When you combine digital specific eyewear with blinking more often, taking regular breaks and adjusting device display settings, eyes will feel more relaxed and comfortable throughout the day.

As part of the “Digital Eye Strain” campaign we are urging people, regardless of whether they currently wear glasses, to take the time and recognise whether they have digital eye strain symptoms.  Understanding the impact of digital device usage on an individual’s eyes is one aspect that we will discuss with you as part of the practice’s thorough 360° comprehensive eye consultation.


Paul McCarthy Optometrist becomes Drummoyne Optometry in 2016

Here is Paul’s message to the many wonderful patients he has cared for – for over 31 years in Drummoyne…………

We hope you enjoyed a relaxing Festive Season and had an opportunity to have a break and spend quality time with family and friends.
As you can see, we’ve had a name change!  Back in October, as the practice celebrated 31 years as Paul McCarthy Optometrist, we felt it was fitting to move to a new name – Drummoyne Optometry – a new look and new logo that reflects our strong, committed and long-standing connection to the wonderful Drummoyne community and its surrounding suburbs. As I have progressively taken some time out of the practice to care for my elderly father over the past couple of years, many of you have enjoyed the care and professionalism of both Fabian Mammarella and Yasmina Searle Optometrists who have so very ably assisted as my locums.
Now it is time to move on to a new chapter………………..
I have decided, after 31 years in Drummoyne, to make 2016 the year to transition out of private practice and on to a number of other projects. In early February, I will be welcoming Mr Ilan Grauman Optometrist who will be taking over the practice. Ilan is a highly experienced optometrist in his late 40’s and like me, is a graduate of the University of New South Wales optometry program. He has owned successful independent optometry practices in Sydney and the Central Coast. He shares my passion for independent optometry – caring for patients as individuals, putting their eye health needs first and foremost, fostering meaningful relationships which are patient-centred and enduring.
Ilan is committed to providing you with the high standard of quality eye care and customer service you have come to expect and deserve. Our wonderful team of Sofie, Ivana and Debbie will be continuing on to provide their amazing team support to Ilan as he takes over the reins. I will be in the practice for a day or two per week during February and early March.

Where to for me? Firstly a well-earned break and then Louise and I will be taking on a number of optometry projects including locum work in rural and remote locations and voluntary projects at home and abroad. What an absolute pleasure it has been caring for each and every one of you over the past 31 years. I’ve had the pleasure of watching many of you grow from children to adults, have families of your own and bring your children to me. Thank you for placing your trust in me – as our Festive Season window display said “I opened two gifts this morning – they were my eyes”.
They are special gifts – look after them!
With sincere best wishes and thanks,

New Year Resolutions for your Eyes

We’d like you to focus your eyes on a few New Year Resolutions that are easy to keep and super-important for eye health:

  • Eat smart. Think about your food choices and be sure to include lots of leafy greens, colourful fruits and Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to promote good eye health. Try to do this on a daily basis.
  • If you’re constantly using a computer, phone or tablet (who isn’t?) be sure to rest your eyes every 20 minutes and look at objects in the distance to reduce eye fatigue.
  • Wear sunglasses! Yes, we mean all year round! Our harmful UV rays can cause cataracts, pterigiums and cancer of the eyelid.
  • Have a regular eye test. By regular, we recommend at least every 2 years – more frequently if you are concerned about your vision.
  • Check your family eye health history – ask Mum, Dad, Nanna or Uncle Trevor if there are any eye problems in the family like glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts. The sooner you know, the sooner you can have us check your eyes and provide a vision care plan for you.
  • Stay active – keeping moving will help to reduce your likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes, which leads to vision loss.

The take home message – you only get one pair, look after them. Happy New Year everyone!

i opened 2 gifts this morning