Shire announced the launch of “Screen Responsibly,” a new educational initiative about the intersection between screen use and eye health. This initiative is underscored by new national Shire-sponsored survey data and as part of it, a partnership with Thrive Global, a behavior-change media and technology company, to increase dialogue about how to love our screens and our eyes. Screen Responsibly is an extension of Shire’s eyelove campaign, which launched in 2016 to elevate the importance of eye health and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of chronic dry eye.
“Our relationship with technology is one of the most important conversations of our time,” Arianna Huffington, founder & CEO of Thrive Global and one of the voices for Screen Responsibly, said in a company news release. “And that includes giving attention to how screens are affecting our first line of defense: our eyes. That’s why Thrive has joined forces with eyelove to help people learn how to screen responsibly, while still enjoying all the benefits of technology.”
New results from the screen responsibly survey of 1,001 adults with self-reported dry eye or dry eye symptoms and 1,000 ophthalmologists and optometrists revealed unique insights into the relationship between people with dry eye symptoms and screens, including:
- Adults were more comfortable discussing how much they weigh (41%), the amount of junk food they eat (44%), the time they spend online shopping (51%) or how much they drink on the weekends (55%) than share their screen usage.
- Adults agreed they cannot pursue their life passions without screens (70%).
- Nearly two-thirds of surveyed eye care professionals reported a rise in eye-related issues that they attribute to screen usage.
While adults said that caring for their eyes and vision is extremely important, less than half reported using screens responsibly most of the time. With intense screening being a trigger for dry eye symptoms, Shire is hoping to help consumers adopt more responsible screen habits. To screen responsibly involves screen.blink.listen: keep watching your screens, but also watch out for your eyes; remember to follow tips like 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.
“Dry eye patients often say that their dry eye symptoms are worse after prolonged screen use, and they struggle with recognizing how much time they really spend on screens,” Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, said in the news release. “Ninety percent of adults in the survey reported their screen use as ‘unavoidable’ even though there’s an impact on their eyes, demonstrating the importance of sharing tips and resources that help patients prioritize both their screens and their eye health.”
New resources and custom content are available on screenresponsibly.com that show how people can live a screen-healthy lifestyle. A screen personality quiz is also available on the site that will guide users to content tailored to their unique screening style, along with information on Dry Eye and tips on how to best chat with your eye doctor.
“I wasn’t surprised to see that three out of four surveyed eye doctors said they are currently diagnosing more patients with dry eye compared to five years ago, and that 88 percent believe the increase of Dry Eye symptoms can be attributed to smartphone use,” said Edward Holland, MD, University of Cincinnati and Director, Cornea Service, Cincinnati Eye Institute. “I have seen the effect of increasing screen-dependency on my patients’ eye health and it is time, more than ever, for them to become more aware of their screen habits, and when it may be time for a break.”