Finally, we can see light at the end of the tunnel out of our COVID-created caves. Restrictions are being lifted in British Columbia. Vaccines are en route. We can look forward – that is if we can see past the blue light emanating from our ubiquitous screens. After months in front of my work, my social, my edutainment screens, my eyes needed ‘re-hab.’ So, I turned for advice on how we can protect our eyes and improve our overall performance to my personal optometrist in Vancouver, Dr. Janey Yee.
As a writer and content creator tied to my screens, my eyes are engaged, a lot. Those work hours can send a message of fatigue to the brain at the entry point, the eyes. It can also filter a false sense of overall fatigue to the rest of the body when I most need to feel focused and energized. To top it off, like most of us, I was Zoomed-Skyped-Google Hang’d –Out!
It’s been a year of our global shift to remote work and we’re not done yet. Our new workspaces have enabled many of us to keep working or to keep learning. All those screens in our formerly personal spaces have also proved to be safer and to save big on transport, leasehold and even clothing costs.
During my work week, I cling to my favourite tip In part 1 of this series on eye care. Get out.
Get out of our COVID-created caves to recharge in the outdoors and to break away from our devices for work or leisure ‘en plein air’.
Away for a bit from the meetings. social gatherings, reading circles, and webinars. Away from the free courses at Ivy League colleges, exotic museum tours. Connections from the casual to the critical – all online. All magnetizing us to the blue screen.
Help came my way!
Dr. Yee, are there any glasses or filters we can use to reduce the strain on our eyes when we just can’t get away from that blue screen?
These specialty lenses are designed like a regular single vision lens, but it has a “boost zone” at the bottom.
This boost zone is an area with an increased amount of relaxing power, which reduces eye strain during prolonged up-close activities such as looking at digital screens, reading, or any ‘near task’ activities. They ultimately help decrease the focusing demand the eyes feel while on electronic devices and therefore decrease the symptoms of CVS/DES.
Blue Blocker lenses
Blue light comes from the sun, as well as LED lights and digital device screens. People are exposed to more blue light now than ever before. Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can decrease contrast leading to DES. Overexposure can potentially lead to retinal cell changes similar to macular degeneration. New blue blocker lenses specifically cut out harmful blue light, reducing glare and increasing contrast.
Lubricating eye drops
Dry eye symptoms can vary from a burning sensation in the eyes to extreme pain with each blink.
Remembering to blink is important, but if that’s not enough, then your optometrist can recommend lubricating eye drops. The dry eye aisle at your local drug store can be overwhelming with so many different brands. Your optometrist can recommend what’s appropriate for your eyes based on your symptoms, your computer use, and your eye history.
Thank you, Dr. Yee!
I got on this one! A year ago, I replaced my ‘Tina Fey’ look, work at home only glasses with lenses that block the blue. They helped.
Eye drops? Check. I do get so absorbed by thinking and working on the screen, I forget to blink!
Our expert on eye care can be reached via her website.
Her COVID compliant and pleasing office is located in Kitsilano on 4th Avenue at MacDonald
Stay tuned for one more segment especially for contact lens wearers.
Stay safe and don’t stress or strain your eyes,eh?