Lens For the Digital Era

With the increasing penetration of digital devices in our daily lives, the need for lenses that guarantee focused vision all day long is growing

AdobeStock_109971082Digital devices permeate every aspect of our life. From the moment people wake up until the time they go to bed again, including when they are eating, exercising and reading, they are using smart phones, tablets, computers, laptops, e-readers, television and other electronic devices.

Nearly one third of adults spend more than half of their waking hours using digital devices. Digital devices allow people to live in the present, connecting with others, sharing information, and capturing memories. Yet many users fail to notice how the hours spent with this technology can affect visual health both immediately and over a lifetime.

Our options are limitless, often including more than one device at a time from television, smartphones, computers, tablets or e-readers and video game consoles. When face to face with computers, screens sit about two feet from our eyes and people tend to stare at them for prolonged period, which decreases blinking.

Blinking is important to prevent dryness or irritation in eyes. Smaller digital devices that are held at 8 to 12 inches from the eyes, further foster conditions for digital eye strain which is characterised by dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue and aches. While adults with computer oriented jobs seem to be the prime targets of over exposure to digital devices, one in four children use these devices more than 3 hours a day and are also at higher risk.

This exposure which occurs both at school and at play, poses a risk to children’s developing eyes. For instance, accelerated myopia (short sightedness) is just one potentially troubling byproduct of too much screen time.

As more people from all age groups spend added time in front of digital screens, new lens technologies are enhancing the experience while preventing eye strain as well as exploring lens options or lifestyle changes for alleviating and protecting against future discomfort.

The optical industry is paying close attention to the issue of blue light exposure, also referred as high energy visible light exposure. Because blue light can reach deeper into the eye. In fact, it can go further than the regular Ultra Violet light, and therefore carries the risk of damaging the retina. Although the issue is nascent, emerging research points to the possible link between exposure of blue light and long term vision issues such as Age Related Macular Degeneration and Cataract.

There are many lenses, from different companies, available in the market which cater to the people who use digital devices for more than three hours a day. These lenses help in reducing ocular discomfort and there by reduce eye strain caused due to overuse of digital devices.

Here is a look at the offerings by some of the leading brands in this category:

Eyezen, an offering by Essilor claims to provide clear and comfortable vision regardless of the size of the screens (even the smaller ones) and the viewing distance. It protects the eye against harmful blue light. It also provides sharper vision. Eyezen lenses achieve this with the help of three technologies – Eyezen focus, Light scan and Wave technology.

Eyezen focus technology brings power booster optimised according to the wearers profile in the bottom part of the lens, to support the eye’s effort in focussing at ultra-near distances that are typical of handheld devices.

This maximised distribution of the prescribed power on the lens provides extra focussing support. It relieves patients eye fatigue created by digital usage and is known to improve small character’s readability.

Close and variable reading distances, smaller and more pixelated characters and longer exposure to screen glare are causing tired eyes and potentially exposing our eyes to the longer term consequences of harmful blue-violet light.

Eyezen Light Scan is an unique light filtering technology. It helps in deflection of a significant amount of the harmful blue-violet light while letting beneficial blue turquoise light pass through. Its wave technology fine tunes lens surface providing a sharper vision. Essilor also has a coating for computer use known as Crizal PREVENCIA. It’s a coating which selectively filters harmful Ultraviolet and Blu-Violet light and lets in the good light that regulates sleep and mood, and boosts brain activity.

HOYA offers a unique coating in this category. It is known as BlueControl coat and helps in neutralising blue light, preventing eyestrain as well as fatigue. It also reduces glare for a more comfortable and relaxed vision.

The coating is known to provide better contrast perception offering a more natural colour experience.

BlueControl coat comes with good quality scratch resistance, anti-reflection coating ensuring a comfortable light transmission of almost 99%, improved hydrophobic layer ensuring long-lasting water, grease and dirt repellent qualities, even anti-static properties preventing dust from adhering to the lens surface. The lens is easy-to-clean and comes with optimal transparency, even after intensive cleaning.

Rodenstock offers the unique computer spectacles. Known as  Ergo®, these near comfort lenses claim to provide very wide visual zones for working on a computer screen thereby ensuring fatigue-free vision, at near and medium distances.

Finished with the new high-tech coating Solitaire® Protect  Balance 2, they reduce the artificial blue light that is radiated from digital screens for natural well-being and increased performance.

Computer spectacles with Ergo® near comfort lenses provide a very wide field of vision in the intermediate range (keyboard, tablet, display).

They can be adapted individually to the personal working and reading distances. The result is ergonomic head and body posture and hence comfortable, fatigue-free vision.

The innovative high-tech coating Solitaire® Protect Balance 2 is an enhancement to computer spectacles. The finish on these lenses reduces not only bothersome reflections, but also the blue light from televisions, computer displays, tablets, smartphones and other digital displays. An excess of it can affect the melatonin level and hence the inner clock and day-night rhythm. Solitaire® Protect Balance 2 relaxes the eyes, improves contrast vision, increases the general sense of well-being and that way ensures a balanced biorhythm.

Most people in their 30s and 40s frequently use digital devices and have tired eyes and stiff neck at the end of the day. ZEISS Digital Lenses were created to specifically protect the eyes from constant digital exposure.

It is designed to meet the vision needs of people who are experiencing near vision discomfort for the first time. These lenses are for universal use – from morning until night. ZEISS Digital Lenses help reduce the stress and strain caused by the constant use of smartphones and other digital devices.

ZEISS Digital lenses provide an aberration free distance zone and comfortable near zone for relaxed and sharp vision while using digital devices. The distance zone is large to match the visual behaviour of emmetropes or Single Vision wearers. The intermediate zone is compressed to help rapid transition into near power.

ZEISS also has coating option that helps protect the eyes from blue light emitted from digital devices and various LED screens. This coating is called DuraVision BlueProtect.

Using the right lens

Digital device use has become part and parcel of life. What is important is awareness about the usage and its ill effects on eyes and overall health. Ergonomically correct setup, selected eyewear, frequent breaks and minimal digital device use can reduce Digital Eye Strain maintaining healthy eyes and well being of an individual.

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