Digital eye strain increases when using multiple screens

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Multi tasking is perfect for getting things done quickly during work and at home, however when there is technology involved, you may want to think twice about how much time you’re spending on your digital device(s) during a set time period.

What is digital eye strain?

If like the vast majority of us you regularly sit in front of a screen for more than a few hours a day, you may begin to feel your eyes drying up and becoming irritated. You may also get blurred vision, headaches, and neck/back pain. This is digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain has become a widely diagnosed condition that lasts temporarily, being a result of small muscles in the eye overworking and then straining because you haven’t blinked, leaving your eyes dry and irritated.

Spending over two hours in front of a screen, whether that is the TV, your smart phone, tablet or laptop, straining on your eyes is inevitable which could then lead to further symptoms.

Digital eye strain and multiple screens

The Vision Council research states that on average 65% of us experience digital eye strain with the constant exposure to screens.

However, this figure rises to 75% for those of us using multiple screens at once, such as flickering between laptop computers, to phones and tablets. In fact, for those of us only using one screen at a time, the percentage is reduced to 53%.

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Millennials are more likely to suffer from digital eye strain as they tend to use more than one device at a time, as they read and connect through their smart phones and tablets. The research also suggests that women are more likely to use multiple screens and report more digital eye strain symptoms than men.

The long lasting damage of digital eye strain

Although the majority of the time digital eye strain is fairly temporary, longer lasting effects should not be ruled out. The light receptors at the back of the eye are damaged when the eye is always exposed to the blue light that is emitted from digital screens. This could then lead to the loss of central vision.

The pineal gland which creates the hormone melatonin is distorted each time you expose yourself to the blue light making it harder to sleep, therefore affecting your day the following morning.

Preventing digital eye strain

Taking a break from your device for around five minutes every hour is wise as this will allow your eyes to rest before starting again. Keeping display screens at arms length and not too close to your eyes will also stop your eyes from straining.

Still unsure if you suffer from digital eye strain? View our infographic or see more general information on digital eye strain.

The Look of Love

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Have you seen the touching video of young Piper wearing glasses for the first time?

As heart-warming as these videos are, they play an important role in raising awareness of the conditions behind each child and the charities that are helping to change lives.

We thought we would highlight a couple of these high profile videos and share their stories.

Louise

At two months old, Louise’s parents discovered that their beloved daughter had Oculocutaneous Albinism (Type 1), a form of Albinism found in approximately 1 in 40,000 people.

This condition is caused by an alteration of the Tyrosinase gene, resulting in a lack of pigment development. The symptoms usually include white hair, very pale skin and impaired vision.

Louise made the headlines with this video of her first pair of glasses and seeing her mum properly for the first time.

Louise and her parents regularly share their inspiring story of their bright and beautiful daughter on YouTube and Instagram, and you can also donate towards the National Organisation for Albinism.

Violet

At just a few months of age, Violet’s parents were told that she had been born with Bilateral Congenital Cataracts in both eyes and was blind.

Congenital Cataracts refers to the opacity of the lens of the eye, which depending on the severity can greatly affect vision and is responsible for nearly 10% of vision loss in children.

Violet currently wears little purple glasses (her favourite colour) to help her vision, and has had several eye surgeries to remove the lenses in her eyes and replace with artificial ones. She will need to continue to have further surgeries

Violet’s parents are keen to raise awareness that 80% of the world’s blindness is treatable and see themselves as lucky to be in this 80%.

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Keep updated on Violet’s Story or donate towards Violet Sees to help provide free or reduced-cost glasses, support vision screening and connect similar families with care and support.

Your child’s vision

With two thirds of children entering school without ever having a professional eye screening, there are things you can be looking out for in your children.

Research related to children’s vision (aged 0-5) found that:

  • 2% – 5% suffer from lazy eye or Amblyopia
  • 3% – 4% suffer from Strabismus (the abnormal alignment of the eyes or a squint)
  • 15% – 20% suffer from Myopia (short-sightedness)

It’s believed that 80% of a child’s learning occurs through vision processing, so knowing if your child suffers from any vision impairment can have a great impact on their development.

Thankfully many vision problems in children have some easily spotted warning signs:

  • Squinting or closing one eye to increase vision
  • Holding materials close to the face to focus
  • Tilting the head
  • Tearing or redness in the eye or repeatedly rubbing them

Recognising the warning signs is important, but if you do have any concerns about your child’s vision then visit an eye professional as soon as you can, remembering that the majority of vision problems in children are solvable.

Stats source: The Vision Council

10 musicians you couldn’t imagine without glasses

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For many of us, these glasses are as iconic as the music or musicians themselves.

Source: wikimedia

#1 – Stevie Wonder

A child prodigy, Stevie Wonder signed to his record label at age 11 – despite being blind. He has used his glasses to cover his eyes whenever he performs, making his glasses just as much as part of his music as his soulful and soothing voice.

Source: wikimedia

#2 – Elton John

Elton John’s wacky pink glasses are just as much as part of his music and image as his piano, garish suit choices or his lyrical genius. Never change Elton!

Source: wikimedia

#3 –Jarvis Cocker

Jarvis Cocker, the frontman of Pulp, is known for his almost comically oversized glasses and dishevelled looks.

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Source: Flickr

#4 – Bono

The U2 frontman is very rarely seen without his classic shades – so much so that we probably wouldn’t know what he looks like without them. Maybe they’re permanently attached? We’ll never know.

Source: wikimedia

#5 – Buddy Holly

The Rock and Roll legend is known for his quintessential oversized glasses and they continue to influence modern day glasses design, long after his premature death.

Source: wikimedia

#6 – Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is known just as much for his round lens glasses as he is for biting the head off a bat. We couldn’t imagine him without either!

Source: wikimedia

#7 – Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is an iconic figure, and her choice of eyewear is just as fabulous and bizarre as she is. Her first album – The Fame – sees her sporting a pair of dazzling, if not slightly impractical, black shades, a look she continued to sport on the album tour. Let’s not forget the crazy Mickey Mouse shades she wore in the Paparazzi video either!

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Source: Flickr

#8 – Will.i.am

Although not as extreme as Lady Gaga, the former Black Eyed Peas frontman is known for his farfetched and daring outfits – with glasses to match. He is known for his big, Buddy-Holly style glasses, although he also has a penchant for futuristic, almost goggle-style glasses. Wacky!

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Source: Flickr

#9 – Flava Flav

For those who remember him, Flava Flav’s glasses are just as iconic as his ‘normal sized clock’ necklace – so much so that they instantly make us recognise who this clock is supposed to be.

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Source: Flickr

#10 – Kanye West

Kanye West first sported his grill glasses in the music video for the song Stronger – which was one of the biggest hits of the year. So it was no shock that the glasses are one of his most iconic looks and became so popular they started to appear everywhere. They’re still a summer festival staple nearly 10 years later.

10 things you’ll only understand if you wear glasses

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There are certain things about wearing glasses that are great. But then, the reverse is true – and who can you talk to about it? Sadly, only other people that wear glasses. We understand your troubles.

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Source: Pixabay

#1 – Not wearing them gives you a blinding headache

Any time you forget your glasses you spend half the day squinting and then suffer the most horrendous headache later.

#2 – Any sudden change in temperature

When you boil the kettle for a cup of coffee, or take something out the oven, your glasses steam up instantly and render you completely blind. Is your dinner burnt? You have no idea because you can’t see it.

#3 – Or rain!

It’s raining, which means not only are you going to have to deal with rain splattered glasses for the entire time, but you’ll also need to clean them when you get home. Fantastic.

#4 – You constantly readjust your glasses

So much so that you worry you might get RSI from constantly reaching up and pushing your glasses back up your nose.

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Source: Pixabay

#5 – Trying to fit 3D glasses over the top of your regular glasses

3D movies seem to be all the rage lately – but all it means for you is having to wear two pairs of glasses, one on top of the other, at the cinema.

#6 – You clean your glasses pretty much all the time

Because you’re only human, and your human face secretes oil which gets all over your glasses and clouds up your glasses. So you constantly have to wipe them down – safe in the knowledge that it’s impossible to keep them clean for long.

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Source: Pixabay

#7 – You start to only wear cotton clothing

What you’re wearing becomes a way to clean your glasses, so wearing anything other than cotton becomes an issue. God bless cotton shirts.

#8 – Everyone wants to try your glasses on

Most of the time, they just grab them straight off your face before even waiting for a reply.

#9 – And then they’re quite rude

“YOU’RE SO BLIND!” they yell when they put on your glasses, because they’re not exactly sure how glasses work.

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Source: Pixabay

#10 – But everyone thinks you’re extremely smart

And you’re quite content to let them think that. “Yes, I do work for NASA.” You say to an amazed crowd. At least there’s some benefit to wearing them.

Top 4 reasons to get your eyes tested

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We repeat the importance of maintaining good eye health a lot, and we tell you that you should have your eyes tested every 2 years. But why should you get them tested? Here are our top 4 reasons.

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Source: Pixabay

#4 – Eyewear trends

For many of us, glasses are an everyday necessity. We wear them all day, every day. Seeing as we spend so much time wearing them, it’s in our interest to keep up with the latest trends in eyewear technology. Scratch-resistant lenses and anti-reflective coatings mean less time cleaning your glasses or replacing the lenses, and more time out enjoying life.

And for the fashion conscious among us, frames and styles of eyewear are constantly evolving. A trip to the optometrist doesn’t have to be boring, not when you can take inspiration from the latest catwalk trends.

#3 – Visual acuity

This is the most obvious reason to get your eyes tested – to check your visual acuity. Your eyes should be checked on a regular basis, ideally every 2 years, in order to check that you have the right prescription. Vision can change, especially if you have corrective lenses, so you should make sure your prescription is up to date.

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Source: Pixabay

#2 – Developmental problems

During the growth stages of our lives, leaving vision problems uncorrected can often lead to learning and reading difficulties, or contribute to other medical problems such as dyslexia and ADHD.

When vision problems are uncorrected in children, this can often learn to amblyopia or strabismus, which can then lead to permanent vision loss later in life.

#1 – Check for disease

When your optometrist checks your eyes, they not only test your visual acuity, but they also check for signs of disease. Some very serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma, often have no symptoms. Others, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, develop at a slow rate meaning that you may not even be aware that your vision is decreasing. Early detection of these eye diseases is important for maintaining healthy vision as some symptoms can be treated before they worsen.

The science behind 3D glasses

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3D glasses have come a long way over the past few years, going from something the occasional blockbuster would use, to a technology that ventured into our living rooms with the advent of 3D TV.

But how do 3D glasses work? And where did those red and blue lenses go? Let’s find out.

How 3D vision works

In real life, we see two different pictures with our eyes. As our eyes are, on average, 2 inches apart, each image is from a slightly different angle, so our brain places these pictures together to form one 3D image with depth – allowing us to see in 3D.

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Source: Pixabay

The old red and blue lenses

The method of 3D imagery that most of us will be familiar with is the old red and blue lens system. With this technique, there are two different overlapping images on a single frame or picture.

We view the singular frame (or moving frames, if it’s a film) with the glasses, and the coloured lenses filter out the image, showing each eye just one image. However, as these images are slightly different, our brain pieces them back together and gives us the illusion of depth.

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Source: Pixabay

Newer 3D technology

Recently, 3D tech has advanced and we no longer use the red and blue lenses we all came to know and love. More and more cinemas, as well as other 3D venues such as Disney World and Universal Studios who are notorious for using 3D attractions, have started to use a different technology called polarization.

Polarization is the preferred method as this allows colour viewing of the TV/film. In this, two synchronised projectors project the film onto the screen at the same time, but from two slightly different angles and with a different polarization.

The glasses you use to view the film then also contain two different polarizations, filtering out the images and, as with the old red and blue system, producing a 3D image when your brain overlays the images.