Dr. Jennifer Lyerly, practicing optometrist and co-founder of Defocus Media, talks with us about the prescription eyewear needs of millennials, especially as they age, and things to consider when prescribing eyewear for millennials.
“Millennials get older,” Dr. Lyerly laughs, pointing out that some millennials are nearing their forties. “When you’re picturing an eighteen year old – that’s wrong. That’s the next generation at this point. We really need to think about millennials and their prescription eyewear needs.”
Pointing to the prevalence of electronic lifestyles in younger patients’ personal lives, and the necessity of using computers in many people’s jobs, Dr. Lyerly points out that the average millennial spends 22.4 hours per week on electronic devices – nearly an entire day each week looking at a screen.
Unsurprisingly, digital eye strain has become a major issue affecting many millennials. Symptoms of digital eye strain often go unrecognized, such as headaches, fatigue, pain around the eyes, light sensitivity and blurry vision at night, with the latter two the most common complaints from Dr. Lyerly’s younger patients.
Dr. Lyerly cautions optometrists against writing off these concerns, or treating millennial patients as “easy patients” whose eye care needs remain stable or predictable. “In my practice, we focus on these patients,” she says, “and have really seen that demographic grow.”