Atelier Mira takes pride in remaining on the cutting edge of all aspects of the optical field, including new lens and coating technology to battle the adverse effects of well...technology. And with the wealth of information being published, sometimes it’s hard to pare down what is relevant or even make sense of the statistics. For example, one reads that the average person spends close to nine hours a day on some sort of blue light emitting device. This might seem hard to believe until you really think about it:
Wake up and check phone for texts from last night, missed calls, and….emails: 15-20 minutes depending on your spam settings.
News, music, and other waiting for/riding on train entertainment: 30-60ish minutes depending on your commute, if you remembered your charging brick, and if the A/C train decides to run on schedule.
Work: 4-6 hours if you’re lucky. Most folks are using a digital device at work, sometimes all day unless you’re lucky enough to be a yoga instructor or a goat herder.
Commute home: another 30-60ish mins, check your Twitter feed, or sort through all those podcasts your friends have recommended.
Post work email, Amazon and other online shopping addictions: another 30-60 minutes.
Netflix on the laptop or tablet before bed: 2-4 hours depending on whether or not you’ve started “Orphan Black” yet.
TOTAL: 8-13 hours
This doesn’t include the possible Instagramming, Facebook disagreements with that one cousin you haven’t actually seen since who knows when, Tumblr rabbit holes, and new SnapChat filters.
All of this exposure to digital devices can lead to something called “digital eye strain”. Ever feel like you look up from your computer and can’t focus on who is standing in front of you? Feel like you have headaches or neck pain or dry eyes after your day at work? These are some of the symptoms of “digital eye strain”. One cause of the strain is the negative blue light emitted from our digital devices. Negative blue light falls close on the visible light spectrum to UV, a known culprit of glaucoma and cataracts. While blue light is not all bad and is actually necessary for color perception and serotonin release, negative blue light can actually be harmful for our eyes, and disrupt circadian rhythms.
At Atelier Mira, we have multiple solutions for filtering out harmful blue light. We feature coatings like Crizal Prevencia, an anti-reflective coating that is designed not only to serve as an all purpose protective and glare-reducing coating, but also has enhancements to filter up to 20% of harmful blue light. We also fit the Eyezen lens for our single vision wearers, as well as the Varilux Comfort W2+, Physio W3+, and the Varilux S Series for our presbyopic clients, all of which include Essilor’s Smart Blue Filter™ which filter negative blue light up to 20%. These negative blue light filtering features can even benefit a wearer who has no prescription but needs to block harmful blue light at work or at home. We measure for all of our digital lenses with our Visioffice measuring instrument, which digitally captures five different measurements of your eyes at once, creating the most precise fitting possible. This helps to create the clearest, most comfortable vision possible for the wearer both on and off of a blue light emitting device.
Another reason for digital eye strain is due in part to the fact that our eyes focus better on reading print at a closer distance than the average digital device. On top of that our eyes, being the truly amazing organs that they are, are also fighting to focus on the pixelated components of digital print while simultaneously deciphering the actual text. This means they must work considerably harder than they do with print on paper. And like any muscle we work too hard, digital eye strain symptoms are your eyes are letting you know they need a break.
There are other solutions we do can help our eyes feel more comfortable working on digital devices in addition to Blue Light filtering technology:
Try to set your monitor a full arm’s length away and if you can, switch the background on text documents from a white to a cool gray instead.
Try to limit overhead florescent or other lighting that might be competing with the light on your digital device (this might be tough in an office setting, but it’s always worth asking).
“Think 20/20….20”: For every twenty minutes spent on a computer monitor, laptop, or digital device, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away to allow your focusing system to relax and regroup.
For those who spend even more time on a digital device at work, consider speaking with an optometrist about your prescription: Lenses designed to bring near or far objects into focus are not designed for the mid-distance range like a computer screen. Sometimes it is helpful to to have an office or task specific pair of glasses for your office or workspace.
Still confused or overwhelmed? Don’t worry. Feel free to drop into Atelier Mira and consult with one of our opticians or set an appointment with our optometrist. Our priority is to keep our clients informed, and listen to their individual needs to meet and exceed their expectations. Up to 75% our learning is through our vision, and almost two thirds of our brain is dedicated to vision and vision in combination with other sensory preceptor. We feel obligated to do our part to help our clients protect this invaluable sensory asset in our ever evolving world. Together, we can meet fashion with function and create a visual experience that looks as great as it feels.