Today eye care practicioners should be asking about digital screen time with every patient. Your patient questionnaire is just like a good research study, it has a hypothesis you are trying to prove or disprove –we are trying to prove if the computer pair of glasses is the primary pair for each patient. We can only know this if we are asking the right questions about their screen time. Every screen they use during every part of their day, as well as all any symptoms related to Digital Eye Strain.
Research has been conducted on behalf of independent eye care providers. After numerous in depth studies and focus groups it was discovered that patients do not associate the symptoms of digital eye strain with screen time!
This is amazing information. What do we do with it? See the sampling of the questions I ask all of my patients further below. Sometimes they fill out this form, other times I make sure to ask them myself in the exam lane. Notice the order of my questions. I ask about the symptoms first, then the screen time. Once you have the patient making this connection you can educate them about eye fatigue, and how it is the cause of their symptoms and how they could recieve accommodative support.
Patient education is the only way we can make a difference. We should very clearly connect the dots between their symptoms and their screen time.
In the USA, the discussion has to occur with the eye doctor understanding their patients’ demands and symptoms. Educating patients of the visual stresses and prescribing the best system that will be accepted and worn with comfort. The solution for many of my patients is prescribing a computer pair of glasses, or what we traditionally refer to as an “indoor” lens.
I gladly share with you my patient intake form for your use or reference so you start to ask relevant questions about their digital screen time, to find out if they are suffering from digital eye strain.