AOA launches Screen Time Alliance, partnership for Eye Deserve More campaign

The first-of-its-kind alliance and latest phase of AOA's national public awareness campaign focuses on the effects of extended time on digital devices and its impact on eye health.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has launched a first-of-its-kind Screen Time Alliance in support of a new partnership with the gaming industry to raise awareness on the effects of extended time on digital devices and its impact on eye health, the organization announced Tuesday.

The latest phase of “Eye Deserve More,” the AOA’s national public awareness campaign, is advocating for in-person, comprehensive eye care for all patients as part of their eye health and overall wellbeing, according to an AOA news release.

Per the AOA’s 2022 Gamer Survey, the average gamer spends more than 8 hours a day on screens and has experienced various eye-related symptoms from gaming, including eye strain, headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision.1

As a collaboration between the AOA and gaming industry companies across the country, the Screen Time Alliance is targeting the rise of screen time among gamers.

Members of the Alliance currently include Nerd Street Gamers—a national network of e-sports facilities, events, and content—and Playcrafting, which is a game development company, according to the release. Additionally, the AOA has created an Eye Health Guidance for Screen Time complete with actionable steps for gamers to follow and utilize in order to improve their eyes/overall health.

With the majority of Americans spending a significant amount of time on screens and playing video games, the Alliance’s establishment is an important collaboration for the AOA, according to AOA President James P. DeVleming, OD.

“Through in-person exams, doctors of optometry play a major role in an individual’s overall wellbeing by being able to spot vision and eye health issues, as well as early signs of systemic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases and cancers,” DeVleming stated in the release.

Also included in the AOA’s campaign is a new partnership with actor/singer Jordan Fisher, who will educate fellow gamers and parents about the importance oftaking care of their eye health and encouraging them to practice healthier screen time habits, according to the release.

After injuring his cornea years ago, Fisher said thathe didn’t realize the effect it would have on his body—especially considering the 7 hours a day he spends on screens.

“It’s key to practice healthy screen time habits as it can really take a toll on your eyes,” he stated in the release. ““That’s why getting an eye exam in person is so important, optometrists are able to look beyond your eyes into your whole body.”

The AOA’s Eye Health Guidance for Screen Time can be found here.

1. Entertainment Software Association. February 2022. “2021 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry.”