Reports over the past decade have suggested that adults of all ages are using digital devices for a significant amount of time and there is widespread occurrence of symptoms of DEF. In fact, a 2017 consumer survey showed that Americans now spend five hours a day on mobile devices. Research suggests that traditional media use like television and desktop internet usage is declining while use of the internet on mobile devices is increasing and overall time spent on media is increasing (Figure 1). Not surprisingly, with this increased amount of digital device usage and screen time, eye-care practitioners are increasingly encountering patients that complain of tired or dry eyes related to digital device usage1A.
Figure 1. Average Time Spent Reading Various Media Per User Each Day in the U.S.3
So what type of patients might be prone to symptoms of DEF? It turns out that symptoms of DEF are more widespread than you might think. Nearly 70% of adults in the United States report experiencing symptoms of DEF. Adults in their 20s are the hardest hit, with 73% of them reporting symptoms.
With DEF being so widespread, what can be done to help our patients?
Prevention is the best strategy for management of DEF. To read helpful tips on managing DEF from a practitioner’s perspective, please read a recent article on digital eye fatigue and solutions from Dr. Jennifer Stewart (hyperlink to be populated once Dr. Stewart article goes live).
One tool to help address eye tiredness and dryness associated with DEF are Biofinity Energys® contact lenses. Biofinity Energys® maintains the same features of Biofinity® sphere in an innovative design that can help increase the patient wearing experience in a modern, connected world. Eyes weren’t designed with screen time in mind, so we created Biofinity Energys® to help address both tiredness and dryness, the two most common symptoms of digital eye fatigue (Figure 2). The DigitalBoost™ lens design in the Biofinity Energys® contact lens helps with eye tiredness and can also help reduce ciliary muscle stress during digital device use. The proven lens material in Biofinity Energys® leverages Aquaform® Technology which helps with the dryness associated with digital eye fatigue. This is important as studies have shown that wearers blink rates can decrease up to five-fold when looking at screens.
Figure 2. Biofinity Energys® - Combining Optical and Lens Material Technology to Address Key Symptoms of Digital Eye Fatigue.
Screen time and digital device use continue to increase year after year, and your patients are already feeling the impact.64% of contact lens wearers in the U.S. expressed an interest in seeking ways to reduce eye tiredness, however, only 14% of these patients reported bringing up digital device usage to their ECPs during appointments. Your patients are counting on you to start the conversation about digital eye fatigue and to offer them your expert advice on ways to reduce eye tiredness and dryness associated with their everyday lives.
The innovation in Biofinity Energys® lenses can create better patient wearing experiences. A recent wearer survey showed that Biofinity Energys® wearers are highly satisfied with their lenses (Figure 3). Additionally, 86% of Biofinity Energys® wearers agreed that the lens makes their eyes feel more comfortable, even when they are on digital devices, compared to their previous contact lenses.
Figure 3. Benefits that Biofinity Energys® Wearers Experience16.
Screen time will continue to be a part of our everyday lives. Since prevention is the best strategy for managing DEF6, you don’t need to wait until your patients are complaining of tired eyes to recommend Biofinity Energys®. For your patients that are already experiencing symptoms of DEF, remember that they may be waiting for you to start the conversation10. As your patient’s trusted eye care professional, you’re their best hope to help their tired eyes.
For more information on Biofinity Energys® go to the website below or speak to your local CooperVision sales representative.
For a practitioner’s view on DEF and more tips to help your patients, read this article.
 A) C. Coles-Brennan; A. Sulley; G. Young. “Management of Digital Eye Strain” Clin Exp Optom 2019; 102: 18–29 (and references therein) B) S. Jaiswal et. al. “Ocular and Visual Discomfort Associated with Smartphones,
Tablets and Computers: What we do and do not Know” Clin Exp Optom 2019; 102: 463–477 (and references therein) C) A. L. Sheppard; J.S. Wolffsohn BMJ Open Ophthalmology, 2018; 3:e000146. doi:10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000146. (and references therein)
 Keeping up with ocular fatigue in the digital era [Clinical Education]. Contact Lens Spectrum. 2016;31:3-10.
 Hall L, Coles-Brennan C. Digital eye strain: more screen time = more digital eye strain. Contact Lens Spectrum. 2015;30:38-40.
 A) Dain S, McCarthy A, Chan-Ling T. “Symptoms in VDU operators.” Am J Optom Physiol Opt 1988; 65: 162–167. B) Uchino M, Schaumberg DA, Dogru M et al. “Prevalence of dry eye disease among Japanese visual display terminal users.” Ophthalmol 2008; 115: 1982–1988. C) Nakaishi H, Yamada Y. “Abnormal tear dynamics and
symptoms of eyestrain in operators of visual display terminals.” Occup Environ Med 1999; 56: 6–9.
 Meyer D, Huenink S, Rickert P, Kollbaum P, Chamberlain P. “Symptoms associated with eye fatigue in soft contact lens wearers.” Paper presented at: Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry; October 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA.
 Based on a statistically significant difference of the mean change of accommodative microfluctuations and when compared to Biofinity® sphere after reading on an iPhone for 20 minutes at a distance of 25 cm.
 Patel S, Henderson R, Bradley L et al. “Effect of visual display unit use on blink rate and tear stability.” Optom Vis Sci 1991; 68: 888–892.
 CooperVision Digital Device Usage Report, 2017.
 CVI data on file, 2018. Online survey Biofinity Energys® CL wearers, n = 200.