Home News New Survey Finds Employees Report Increased Eyestrain Since COVID-19

New Survey Finds Employees Report Increased Eyestrain Since COVID-19

The 2021 Transitions Optical survey reveals a rise in reports of digital eyestrain during COVID-19, sparking employee interest in eyewear as a potential solution

Digital eyestrain is becoming more prevalent as employees are now spending more time in front of their screens since the COVID-19 pandemic began—this according to the new Transitions Optical Workplace Wellness surveyi. In turn, employees are looking to eyewear as a potential solution.

Over half (53%) of employees spend more time in front of their work computer screens now than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those employees with increased screen time, 85% say they experience more digital eyestrain.

As employees continue to work remotely, the increase in screen time and, subsequently, a rise in digital eyestrain has prompted employees to become more concerned about their eye health than they were in the past. Survey results say:

  • 48% are more concerned about digital eyestrain overall
  • 48% are more concerned about light sensitivity
  • 33% are more concerned about eye damage from blue light


Almost six in 10 (59%) employees report experiencing more eye fatigue symptoms due to increased screen time. The top symptoms reported by employees include headaches (51%) and dry eye (48%), which is up 10 percentage points since last year.  Additionally, 29% of employees cite light sensitivity as another symptom of their eye fatigue due to increased screen time.

Increased symptoms of eyestrain and discomfort, whether inside from screens or even outdoors—are prompting employees to look at eyewear options. Employees are looking more towards eyewear than making adjustments to their electronic devices to help alleviate their digital eyestrain symptoms.

One in three (34%) employees say they will seek information on blue light eyeglasses, update their prescription (33%) or buy new eyeglasses (32%) while in comparison, only 24% of employees say they would use a blue light screen filter, and 22% say they would change their computer monitor.

“The rise in digital eyestrain since COVID-19 emphasizes the importance of eyewear when it comes to helping to protect and preserve employee eye health,” said Jonathan Ormsby, senior key account manager, Transitions Optical. “Our research reinforces the growing concern about eye damage from blue light. As demand for blue light protection increases, it’s also important employees remember to protect their eyes while outdoors from UV and light intensity for a better vision experience.”


Transitions Optical’s Global Consumer Behavior survey found that 70% of people indicate that protecting their eyes and their eye health is more important to them now than ever beforeii. The increase in concern about eye health is unlikely to subside as employees continue to work from home in the future.

When asked about their employers’ plans for heading back to the office after the pandemic, almost half (47%) of employees say they will continue to work at home at least part-time compared to 41% going back to the office full-time. Additionally, 29% say they will partially work in a physical workplace and partially work remotely, and 18% say they will never work in a physical workplace again.

Transitions Optical offers various broker, employee, and employer-focused tools and education to elevate the importance of comprehensive eye exams and quality eyewear available through vision benefits. Access these tools at HealthySightWorkingforYou.org.

REFERENCE: i 2021 Transitions Optical Employee Survey conducted online among 1,300 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, who are employed full-time or part-time and whose employers offer vision benefits. ii Transitions Optical, Global Consumer Sentiment and Behavior, Multi-country survey (AR, AU, CO, FR, IT, SG, ZA, UK, US), Q4 2020, People Research, N=6,403, N=700 per country – Eyeglasses wearers agree to say Top2Boxes.

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