One in six Americans haven't been to the eye doctor in over five years, according to new research. A poll of 2,000 Americans found respondents are pushing off their eye doctor's appointments for a variety of reasons. While 44 percent say not experiencing any eye problems keeps them away from the eye doctor, a further two in five lack any eye care insurance to help them pay for the associated costs. Overall, results showed 74 percent avoid going to the eye doctor. The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Maui Jim, explored respondents' screen time habits and eye care behaviors and uncovered 38 percent lack the time to make it to their eye doctor. But even with people avoiding their eye doctor, it's digital devices that are negatively impacting Americans' eye health. Seventy-five percent of those studied think their digital screens have negatively impacted their lives. The biggest culprits Americans claim are harming their eye health include smartphones (50 percent) and computers (50 percent). In fact, 71 percent get headaches after using a digital device for too long. The average respondent will spend 10 hours a day staring at a screen - whether at work or in their personal life. Results revealed the average American will spend five hours starting at a screen at the office and then another five hours looking at screens on their personal time. And even with all that screen time, one in seven don't even bother to put limits or restrictions on how much time they spend in front of a screen. Americans are so in love with their digital devices that 29 percent say they look at one of their devices within the first four minutes of waking. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) feel uneasy if they haven't looked at a device after just 10 minutes of being awake - it's therefore no wonder 78 percent say they spend too much time on their devices. "Maui Jim works closely with and supports independent retailers and eye doctors to spread awareness on the importance of taking care of one's eye health," said Jay Black, VP Global Marketing. "Even those not experiencing major eye issues should visit the eye doctor at least once a year, especially if they are moderate to heavy digital screen users." With all the screen time Americans endure, a whopping nine in 10 say they worry about their overall eye health. Fifty-seven percent experience eye strain after looking at screens for too long while a further 54 percent experience headaches after staring at their screens. In good news, Americans are taking steps to reduce their symptoms. Sixty-six percent of respondents take frequent breaks from using digital devices while a further 51 percent position themselves at arm's length distance away from a computer. Half of Americans will also reduce the overhead lighting to reduce their potential symptoms of staring at a screen for too long and another 42 percent have increased the text size on their devices to help reduce any negative impact associated with a lot of screen time. Unfortunately, a third of those studied say they haven't had their eye doctor ask about their screen time usage at their last visit. "As technology use has increased significantly over recent years, even those who do not experience any symptoms of bad eye health need to know the importance of protecting their eyes," said Jay Black.
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