Optometrists have issued a warning about the potential risks that increased screen time could have on our eye health.
Research commissioned by Specsavers, prior to COVID-19 restrictions coming into place, found many office workers were experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.
Between computer screens, smart phones and television, Launceston optometrist Jeffrey Coulson said it was likely people were spending even more time looking at screens.
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"Our eyes aren't meant to be fixed on a single object that long and it's likely to have a negative effect on our eye health," he said.
"If most Launceston workers were experiencing frequent symptoms of digital eye strain before COVID-19, they can expect to experience even more symptoms now as our new daily routines include a lot more screen time.
"We don't see this changing for the foreseeable future."
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The Digital Eye Strain Study was conducted in January and surveyed more than 1100 Australians who worked in an office environment involving considerable screen time.
Digital eye strain can cause dry or irritated eyes and lead to blurred vision, difficulty focusing, sensitivity to light and headaches.
However, Mr Coulson warned that increased time on digital devises could be even more dangerous for young children, at a time when many are adapting to online learning.
"I understand how strong the pull of digital screens is for children. I also know that the way children learn and play is drastically changing as technology becomes increasingly incorporated into everyday life, especially during COVID-19," he said.
"Staring at screens and being indoors for extended periods of time can increase the risk of a child becoming short-sighted, meaning their eyes focus well on close objects, while more distant objects appear blurred.
'Throughout primary school, children's eyes are still developing so it's vitally important they are getting up and moving throughout the day."
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