Technology has vastly changed how people use their eyes. Historically, humans used their eyes for long-distance tasks, such as hunting and fishing. But, since the digital revolution, people are spending more time than ever in front of an electronic screen. Electronic screens are backlit and contain moving images, which require more effort from the eyes to view, compared to a printed page. Other ways in which digital device viewing differs from that of printed media include the presence of glare and reflections, variance in angles and distances, all of which place additional demands on the visual system.

Figures from DataReportal show that the average American spends roughly 7 hours a day looking at a screen, which is above the global average of 6 hours and 37 minutes. Increased use of digital devices for work and entertainment results in higher levels of digital eye strain, especially in people with binocular vision disorder, which affects more than 12% of the population. However, binocular vision disorder is often underdiagnosed, with some studies estimating its prevalence at above 30%.

Binocular vision disorder occurs when two eyes do not focus and or align properly on an object. The brain receives an unclear image and often an image that is difficult to fuse, due to the brain not successfully merging the images from each eye. Binocular vision disorder can result in such symptoms as fatigue, blurred and double vision, as well as difficulty in reading, balancing and walking, and even nausea and light sensitivity.

During the pandemic, many employees shifted to remote work, and video conferencing platforms became the main mode of communication, leading to the coining of the "Zoom fatigue" phenomenon, which includes digital eye strain.

According to Denise Drace-Brownell, founder of DDB Technology, it is important to immediately diagnose and correct binocular vision disorder, because it has a negative impact not only for individuals, but educational institutions, corporations, and the economy in general. People with binocular vision disorder often avoid careers in the STEM fields, due to difficulty in reading and understanding abstract formulas, and the increased need to use computers.

Denise Drace-Bronwell
Denise Drace-Bronwell Denise Drace-Bronwell

As such, companies must recognize that their businesses can be significantly affected by undiagnosed and untreated binocular vision disorder. There is a real risk of losing major investments in time, money, and energy in developing top talent to binocular vision disorder, with US losses estimated at beyond $236.5 billion annually.

Following her personal experience with binocular vision disorder, Drace-Brownell invented significant improvements to prismatic eyeglasses, which are often used to correct the disorder. These include specialized technology glasses, which help people, even without BV disorder, read formulas and spreadsheets more comfortably. In many cases, these improvements can provide substantial relief to people, and they can realize more of their potential in school, in sports, and in life.

"In 1979, at age 24, I was working on a cutting-edge project, which sought to integrate telephone and computer communication into a single medium. But the work with computers and algorithms presented heavy challenges to my eyes. I experienced extreme eye fatigue (or asthenopia in medical terminology), which led me to drop out of my breakthrough program, which is a common result of not having a proper binocular vision disorder diagnosis."

Fortunately, Drace-Brownell says with today's technology, the diagnosis and treatment of BV disorder can be made a profitable enterprise. Organizations can provide their employees with information regarding symptoms and sources for diagnoses and treatment. Drawing from her extensive experience with binocular vision disorder, Drace-Brownell published a patient guide that seeks to help the millions of people suffering from this problem. The guide is titled Binocular Vision Disorder: A Patient's Guide to a Life-Limiting, Often Underdiagnosed, Medical Condition and is available for free online or in print for an affordable fee.

"The guide contains in-depth patient information and resources, including the military exam, which is mandatory for the United States' service academies and Reserve Officer Training Corp. It also contains examples of some of the devastating losses to careers and the workforce talent pool. In one case, Dr. Joseph Marasco, serving as CEO of Verdimine, tells the story of a talented young man who dropped out of a pre-medical program because his binocular vision disorder prevented him from seeing sufficiently in three dimensions. This left him unable to tackle the stereochemistry part of organic chemistry, a skill required for the program. Joseph says he felt helpless and saddened that such a talented individual was held back from becoming a doctor and serving society due to an addressable vision issue."

Drace-Brownell adds that DDB Technology is expanding and seeking partners in the multiple new markets they have identified. While eye strain has begun to take hold, our use of technology will only increase and exacerbate the issue further. As more sectors prioritize accessibility, demand for solutions will expand, making this a lucrative space for investors.

"My new prism technology, for instance, was essential to resolving my own BV issues. The transformation to a digital age demands a transformation in vision diagnostics, treatments, and technologies, and DDB Technology has long been on the forefront of these innovations. The world of binocular vision disorder is much more than patients and prism glasses, and this can have a huge effect on technology, industrial equipment, AR/VR, and so many other areas. Our company has already created engineering inroads in the field, and we believe that there is a wide untapped market opportunity, with a potential for impressive returns for innovation."

About DDB Technology

DDB Technology was founded by scientist, author, and innovator Denise Drace-Brownell, and it has executed profitable projects in various industries, including healthcare, science, and technology. After being diagnosed with Binocular Vision Disorder, Drace-Brownell worked with various leaders in the industry to create solutions to this little-known, underdiagnosed, yet economically significant problem.