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Computer Vision Syndrome

Extended viewing of screens & devices is tough on our eyes.  Discuss your symptoms with your optometrist to find the best solution for you.

Symptoms:

  • Headaches, eye strain or double vision
  • Blurry vision & dry, irritated eyes

Treatment:

  • Prescription glasses can help your eyes function efficiently and comfortably in 2 ways:
    1. Improved clarity
    2. By changing the alignment of your eyes & how hard they must work to focus
  • Blue Blocking Filter - special coating that prevents the high intensity light emitted by screens from entering your eyes. Benefits include:
    • Regulation of sleep cycle (blue light can interfere with melatonin production)
    • Relief of tired eyes & eye strain
    • Protect your eyes from disease (possible association of blue light exposure & development of macular degeneration)

Other Tips:

  • Position your screen at arm’s length and ~20 degrees below eye level
  • Keep room lighting the same brightness as your screen
  • Minimize glare by using glasses with anti-reflective coating and blue blocking filter
  • 20/20 rule: every 20 minutes take a 20 second break to look 20 feet away
  • BLINK often and fully: blink rate drops dramatically with computer use and many patients may only blink partially (don’t close fully), which  can cause significant dryness and irritation.
  • Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for your dry eye.

Be sure to tell your optometrist the set up of your work station  (laptop vs desktop, screen height & distance) and additional details of your work area (lighting, air flow, etc). Book an appointment today to help alleviate your computer strain!

Complete eye exams are a crucial part of preventive eye care. Book now to preserve your vision.

Q&A for Blue Light and Bluetech Lens

Q: What is Blue Light?

  • Blue light refers to the end of the visible spectrum that is characterized by short-wavelength, high-energy light (380-500nm)
  • Sources of blue light include the sun, screens, electronic devices, as well as fluorescent & LED lights

Q: What are the negative effects of Blue Light?

  • The high-energy wavelengths of blue light translates to greater flickering, which results in glare, reduced contrast /clarity, and digital eyestrain, including tired eyes, headaches, and mental fatigue
  • Prolonged blue light exposure may cause retinal damage & contribute to macular degeneration
  • Blue light is thought to suppress melatonin production, resulting in a disruption of the natural circadian rhythm & sleep cycle (can contribute to symptoms of insomnia/ restlessness)
  • Recent research suggests that nighttime blue light exposure and/or working the “night shift” is thought to be associated with higher risk of breast/ prostate cancer, heart disease, obesity and depression

Q: How can we counter the negative effects?

  • Glasses with a blue blocking filter can prevent this harmful type of light from entering the eyes (rather, the light is reflected at the surface of the lens back out into the environment)

Q: What can an OD do to help me in this area?

  • Your optometrist can prescribe you a special type of glasses with a blue blocking filter for use during prolonged screen-time
  • Your optometrist will also discuss other behavioral & environmental modifications that you can use to reduce the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

Q: What is the relationship between Computer Vision Syndrome and Blue Light?

  • Computer Vision Syndrome is a term used to describe the symptoms of strain, headaches, tired eyes, blurred vision, dry eye that patients often describe after extended use of tablets/ digital devices
  • Preventing blue light from entering the eyes has been shown to relieve many of these symptoms and allows patients to work on their devices comfortably for longer periods of time

Q: Bluetech Lenses –

  • What are Bluetech lenses used for and what are their benefits?
  • Bluetech lenses block high-energy blue light from entering your eyes. This allows for:
  • UV ray and high-energy blue light protection
  • Natural depth and colour perception
  • Improves visual acuity & night vision
  • Improves contrast & reduces glare
  • Please describe the technology behind them
  • Bluetech lenses filter high-energy blue & UV light using a specialized ocular lens pigment (derived from the oxidation of 3-Hydroxykynurenine).
  • This pigment is combined with melanin & isolated in a durable material, which is then added to the optical lens, providing protection, contrast and colour enhancement
  • Are there different types of Bluetech lenses and what are they used for?

Indoor lenses:

  • provide protection from sources of harmful high-energy blue light, such as harsh fluorescent lighting, computer screens, and personal electronics, while also giving you soothing vision.

Outdoor Lenses

  • Outdoor lenses allow patients to experience the ultimate visual performance and protection.
  • See everything in high-definition! Experience improved visual acuity, better color perception and reduced glare, with a unique lens technology that is durable and provides the protection you need to prevent the damaging effects of UV rays and high-energy blue light.

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Personal Message from Drs. McRoberts, Bowden & Davidson regarding COVID-19

Considering the evolving situation of COVID-19, we feel it is our responsibility to prioritize the health of our community members during this critical time and do what we can to minimize the opportunity for transmission. As a result, we have made the decision to close our physical clinic and provide only virtual appointments & emergency referrals until further notice.

For Squamish patients, please call 604-892-5055 during our regular business hours to consult.
For West Vancouver patients, please call 604-922- 0413 during our regular business hours to consult.

We are here if you need us!

**Please note – we will continue to be available for your glasses, contacts, eye drops, ocular supplements and any other product or prescription needs. Please call and we can arrange to have these shipped directly to your door at no charge.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times. We are hopeful that this will be a temporary measure, and will be monitoring the situation carefully. Please take care of yourselves & each other, and we hope to see you soon!

Sincerely,
Drs. McRoberts, Bowden & Davidson