A new survey with 2,000 Americans found that their blurry vision is a result of scrolling social media feeds, surfing the web, and watching TV for long periods of time.

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Taking care of our health isn't exclusive to moving during the day or eating nutritious meals. Your eyes need extra care, too, and per a recent study conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by VSP Vision Care, nearly 2,000 Americans want to take action to improve their eye health. Notably, 36 percent of respondents said that they would stay off of all digital platforms if they could have 20/20 vision. Some would even be willing to go to extreme lengths to have clear vision: One in four noted that they would swim with sharks. About 85 percent of the survey participants did credit the act of scrolling through their social media feeds, surfing the web, and tuning into TV shows for long periods of time as the cause of their digital eye strain and blurry eyesight.

Even though the survey participants had their struggles with their vision, 57 percent said that they still push through issues to follow through with their activities. However, 51 percent note that they use the maximum brightness on the smartphones, 48 percent sit too close to their computers or televisions, and 44 percent watch shows in their go-to shows in the dark. Because of these habits, the respondents experienced digital eye strain, but ignore their symptoms on an average of four times a week when using their devices to watch shows, play games, or work. Once the pain becomes too extreme, four in five (about 80 percent) of them took a break from their screens.

Shot of a businesswoman rubbing her eyes while working late at the office
Credit: katleho Seisa / Getty Images

The participants even needed to take more measures to protect their eye health after experiencing vision problems: Forty-seven percent said that they've canceled their plans because of their eye discomfort and 54 percent have taken taken days off from work or school. On average, people cancel their plans six times each year because of eye strain. "Our lifestyles have changed since the pandemic resulting in more vision issues. Which is why taking care of your eyes by enrolling in a vision benefits plan and going to an eye doctor every year is more important than ever," said Kate Renwick-Espinosa, the president of VSP Vision Care, in a statement.

Heading to the eye doctor can help combat issues that lead to strain. The survey found that 48 percent of respondents visit their eye doctor once each year, 12 percent have never visited the eye doctor before, and 13 percent shared that they don't wear glasses or contacts even though they need them to improve their eyesight. "Don't overlook the importance of vision benefits this year. In addition to keeping your eyes healthy, a comprehensive eye exam can help detect serious health conditions, like diabetes. Open enrollment is a perfect time to check the box on vision care benefits for your eyes and overall health," added Renwick-Espinosa.

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