May is Healthy Vision Month, which is the perfect reminder for us all to make sure we’re caring for our eyes in every situation, especially when it comes to technology. Even more, the first week in May is Screen-Free Week, which is a full seven days dedicated to taking a break from the technology we’re surrounded by for entertainment. We all use computers for online shopping, smart phones for playing games, e-readers for relaxing, and tablets for watching movies and TV – the list goes on. And as taking a hiatus from all this is great, let’s be honest – we’ll all be back to our technology habits in no time. But all of our digital device usage could be causing what’s called digital eye strain, which is the physical eye discomfort after screen use for longer than two hours at a time.
Symptoms of digital eye strain include: red, fatigued, irritated or dry eyes; blurred vision; headaches; and neck and shoulder pain. Why do these symptoms occur? Looking at digital devices causes the eyes to blink less, which increases dryness and irritation of the eyes.
Any of these symptoms sound familiar? If they do, you’re not alone. More than 87 percent of American adults report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 76.5 percent report their child(ren) get more than two hours of screen time per day and experience symptoms of digital eye strain, not to mention reduced attention span, poor behavior and irritability. Lucky for you (and your kiddos, if you’ve got ‘em!), The Vision Council’s ambassadors – optometrist and technology expert, Dr. Justin Bazan, and style guru, Jenn Falik – are appearing on a series of broadcast interviews to spread the word on easy (and fashionable) solutions to combat digital eye strain. Check ’em out in action on “Daytime,” below.
CooperVision has crafted its Biofinity Energys contact lenses specifically for today’s digital lifestyles. They help individuals’ eyes better adapt so they can shift focus between digital devices and offline activities. Not only do they help reduce strain on the muscles in the eyes move their gaze from on-screen to off-screen and back, but they also help the eyes retain moisture even when they’re not blinking as frequently in front of a screen, which is common with digital device use. That’s a win in our books!
If a chic pair of specs is more your flow, almost any pair of fashionable frames can be outfitted with specialized lenses featuring blue light-filtering and anti-glare capabilities, such as lenses from Eyezen, Essilor, BluTech, VisionEase, Hoya and ZEISS. That means it’s as easy as poppin’ on a cute pair of frames to ease your digitally induced woes. Already have glasses with a prescription? No problem! Even prescription lenses can be equipped with these properties. Try out sassy cat-eye silhouettes, studious rectangular profiles or funky rounds is pretty much every color of the rainbow. Purples, pinks, blues, greens and neutral hues mean there’s a style for everyone. Embellished with gems, adorned with patterns or elegantly minimalistic, make sure you choose a frame that elevates your own unique style.
Take a peek at some options, below, and then head over to your eyecare provider for an annual eye exam to discuss your eyewear and lens needs. For more information on digital eye strain, visit thevisioncouncil.org.
Kiddies can get in on the fashionable fun, too with cute color-blocking and eye-catching colorations.