EYE HEALTH IN A DIGITAL WORLD
BY BAI GAN, ZENNI OPTICAL CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
Staying healthy is a priority for people across the globe. One critical aspect of this is your eye health, though it’s easy to overlook unless obvious symptoms develop like blurry vision. However, eye health problems may not cause a noticeable change in vision. It’s important to understand some basic ways to proactively maintain healthy eyes without waiting for blurry vision to trigger a trip to the eye doctor.
THE DANGERS OF BLUE LIGHT
High-energy visible (HEV) blue light is light that sits right next to UV on the light spectrum. We see blue light everywhere – it is emitted from the sun, indoor lighting, and even our computer, phone, and tablet screens. When exposed to excessive blue light outdoors or at a computer screen all day, your eyes can feel tired, blurry, and dry – and it even can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Fortunately, a solution exists: blue-blocker lenses. Blue blockers effectively reduce blue light getting to your eyes, which helps relieve eyestrain and headaches, and may improve sleep patterns. The “computer glasses” of yesteryear which contain yellow lenses also block blue light, but alter color perception and are not functional as an everyday pair of glasses. Many people are used to anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings for their glasses – now, blue blocker features have been added to the list as the new standard for all-day, everyday protection.
Zenni Optical offers blue light protection in its traditional affordable style. Zenni’s UV+ Blue Blockers are a virtually clear lens that can be used in more than 2000 frame styles. With quality frames starting at just $6.95 and UV+ Blue Blocker lenses at $16.95, you can find fashionable and protective prescription glasses for less than $30.
TECHNOLOGY MEETS EYEGLASSES
These days, technology is driving advances in the field of medicine, and eye care is no exception. With the rise of “smart glasses” and other innovations, the biggest issue often comes down to market acceptance. The first generation of VR headsets, tech-enabled glasses, and optical lenses featured some rather unusual designs, which ultimately led to many flops. The fact of the matter is that eyeglass aesthetics are critically important to the regular use of these devices. No matter how high-tech and functional a pair of glasses may be, if it looks weird, people aren’t going to wear it.
The future of eyewear is definitely rooted in the fusion of style and technology. Clear (not yellow) blue blockers, classic frame shapes for smart glasses, and light & flexible VR headsets will dominate over competitors who emphasize function over form. Accessibility, style, and technology all have to meet in order for tomorrow’s eyewear to flourish in everyday society.
EYE HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE
Employers are an impactful force in promoting healthy eyes. Here are some of the best ways to promote good eye health for your employees:
• Offer vision insurance to employees. Make sure the plan covers an annual eye exam, as well as an annual pair of frames and lenses.
• Consider including “second pair” coverage in the vision insurance plan. This allows employees to get another pair for work specific purposes, such as a blue blocker for those who spend a lot of time on the computer, or safety glasses for work environment needs.
• Advocate the “Four Tips for Healthy Eyes.”
• Support eye care charities, or even donating old glasses. Corporate support for eye health doesn’t end with employees– it extends beyond them.
Eye health and technology are evolving. While we once thought eating carrots and wearing sunglasses were the pinnacle of healthy eyes, the story is deeper than ever. Following the advice on blue light and more are some important ways to champion your eye health and protect your vision.
- Get an annual eye exam. Get your vision and eye health tested by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist every year to make sure you are seeing clearly – but also to screen for potentially serious health conditions that may go unnoticed otherwise.
- Wear blue blocker lenses. Blue light has been linked to eyestrain, headaches, blurry vision, and even permanent eye damage. Blue light blocker lenses filter out the harmful blue light.
- Eat green, leafy vegetables. Veggies like these are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the macula (or center of your vision). They also help absorb blue light.
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule. If you spend a lot of time reading or using a computer or tablet, try looking at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. This will relax the muscles in your eyes that focus up close and help relieve eyestrain.