More than 1,000 Americans Weigh In on Digital Eye Fatigue, Device Use and More; Research Reveals New Ways for ECPs to Engage Patients on Critical Topics
LAS VEGAS, September 13, 2017—A new study commissioned by CooperVision, Inc. and announced at Vision Expo West reveals that while the explosive use of digital device screens may pose vision challenges, only a fraction of United States eye care professionals (ECP) are talking about these issues.
Only six percent of U.S. consumers reported that they had spoken with an ECP regarding concerns about time using screens. However, 64% of contact lens wearers and 60% of glasses wearers reported they would be very interested or somewhat interested in exploring ways to reduce eye strain with their ECP.
“It’s clear that many people entering an eye care practice want to talk about their digital device usage with their eye care professional, even though such conversations are rarely being held,” said Michele Andrews, OD, Senior Director of Professional and Academic Affairs, North America, CooperVision. “With the growing adoption of groundbreaking products such as Biofinity Energys™ contact lenses – which recently celebrated their one-year anniversary in the U.S. – ECPs have new opportunities to engage in this discussion, providing even better care and welcome guidance in a digitally-dominated world.”
The study also cast light on terms used by consumers to describe how their eyes feel after spending long periods of time staring at digital screens – words and phrases that ECPs may employ to spark a conversation. These included tired (60%), dry (18%), blurry (17%), and strained (9%). To a lesser extent, words included fatigued, cloudy, scratchy, heavy, burning, and irritated. With 57 separate words or phrases reported in total, this points to a broad group of indicators, dependent on each person.
Among all surveyed adults, 16% report being concerned about the amount of time spent looking at screens in an average day. That jumps to 25% among contact lens wearers.
A portion of consumers are practicing good habits when their eyes felt fatigued from screen use, including taking a break for a few minutes (74%), closing their eyes for a few minutes (48%), and looking away for a few seconds (40%).
“Interestingly, Millennials (18-34) were more likely than older respondents to behave like this, perhaps from being digital natives,” said Andrews. “There’s still room for to grow these good habits among people of all ages, through regular advice and reminders from ECPs.”
When it comes to overall health, most consumers don’t think of their eyes first. 57% try to eat healthy, and 40% report exercising at least once per week, yet only 10% say they exercise their eyes regularly.
“As much as we rely on our eyes as the primary input device for digital screens, we have a long way to go in helping consumers understand the importance of eye health,” noted Andrews. “When 24% of the population say they actively research and maintain knowledge of how to live a healthy lifestyle, yet only 9% do the same to keep their eyes healthy, it speaks to significant opportunity. ECPs can take that leadership role, and based on what the data tells us, consumers are eager to listen.”
Biofinity Energys™ with Digital Zone Optics™ lens design is the first contact lens specifically created for digital lifestyles. These pioneering contact lenses are engineered from the ground up, combining breakthrough optical properties with an advanced moisture-retaining polymer material. Approximately 14,000 optometry practices across North America are now prescribing the patent-pending lenses.
The CooperVision-funded study was conducted among 1,129 U.S. adults (18+) from August 22-23, 2017 by YouGov Plc. All figures have been weighted except for consumer-supplied phrases relating to eye fatigue.
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CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. The Company produces a full array of monthly, two-week and daily disposable contact lenses, all featuring advanced materials and optics. CooperVision has a strong heritage of solving the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism and presbyopia; and offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit www.coopervision.com.
About The Cooper Companies
The Cooper Companies, Inc. ("Cooper") is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE (NYSE:COO). Cooper is dedicated to being A Quality of Life Company™ with a focus on delivering shareholder value. Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to developing a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical is committed to advancing the health of families with its diversified portfolio of products and services focusing on women’s health, fertility and diagnostics. Headquartered in Pleasanton, CA, Cooper has more than 10,000 employees with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.coopercos.com.
Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CooperVision, Inc.
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