Eye Health

AOA launches latest phase of nationwide awareness campaign, Eye Deserve More

Healthy vision cannot be taken for granted. With the increase of online and app-based vision services, the AOA’s nationwide public awareness campaign, Eye Deserve More, is leveling up to reinforce this important health reality to Americans: that everyone deserves comprehensive eye care from a doctor of optometry as a part of their overall health and well-being.

There are more than 227 million Americans who play video games, and with gaming and screen time on the rise, so is the risk for long-term implications for people’s eye health. The AOA’s 2022 Gamer Survey results revealed the average gamer spends more than 8 hours a day on screens and has experienced various eye-related symptoms from gaming, including eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision. Many gamers are aware of the eye health implications for long-term screen time usage, but less than half (46%) visit a health care professional for a comprehensive eye exam every year.

“Screen time, including online gaming, sky-rocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as much as doubling for some age groups,” says Teri K. Geist, O.D., AOA trustee and board liaison for Eye Deserve More. “We want to show that AOA and our doctors aren’t anti-screen time—quite the opposite. We are allies in eye health who believe patients deserve to do more of what they love. That can only be done by keeping their eyes healthy with their partners in comprehensive care: AOA doctors.”

Building on the success of the past year, this exciting new phase of Eye Deserve More will show people that they deserve more from their health care by giving them a new perspective of optometry. The AOA teamed up with actor, singer and avid gamer Jordan Fisher and top players in the industry to emphasize the importance of in-person, comprehensive eye care.

Fisher’s eye health is critical to his success in his career and his gaming—he would never leave his eye health up to an online algorithm. He experienced a torn cornea in 2017 that not only affected his vision but also his whole-body wellbeing. He experienced nausea, a clinching sensation in his throat and increased allergy symptoms because of his torn cornea.

As a brand-new father, Fisher knows how important it is to maintain healthy vision throughout his whole life, so that he can see all his baby’s most important life moments, from their first steps to their wedding and beyond. The partnership allows the AOA to tap into Fisher’s 4.5M+ social media followers to raise awareness and educate fellow gamers and parents about healthier screen time habits and show how a doctor of optometry is a critical part of the overall health team.

Champion healthy eyes in an ever-digital world

In addition to celebrity and gamer partnerships, the AOA is launching The Screen Time Alliance, a first-of-its-kind partnership with major gaming and entertainment industry leaders. Each alliance member pledges to prioritize the eye health through software/hardware innovation and education to reinforce that everyone deserves more quality health care.

The latest phase of the campaign also features a revamped landing page on aoa.org to spotlight the new gaming theme and creative, including an energizing campaign hero video featuring Fisher and AOA member and volunteer Jason Compton, O.D. Social media amplification; ongoing media outreach to national, top-tier outlets; partnership with professional gamers and other gaming micro-influencers; and in-game media partnership to display campaign messaging to reach gamers directly also are key components of the initiative. The AOA will also continue its “catfish ads,” an ongoing digital campaign to combat patient-harming messaging that undermines in-person patient care. For instance, someone searching for an “online eye exam” would see an ad that reroutes them to the AOA website, where they learn why only an in-person, comprehensive eye exam with an AOA doctor—not a virtual screening—will provide a complete picture of their visual and ocular health.