Your Eye Care and the Digital Age

At Vision Specialists, we know you want comfortable, worry-free vision. In order to do that, you need to protect your eyes from digital damage. The problem is you can’t escape technology which makes you feel uncertain of the effect it’s having on your eyes now and in the future. We believe everyone deserves an in-depth analysis of how digital devices affect their eyes as part of their routine eye exam, called digiGUARD®. We understand our modern age and care for your concern which is why we have performed over 3,000 digiGUARD® scans to discover the effects digital devices have on your eyes sooner than ever before.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Get your digiGUARD® scan

2. Discuss the results with your doctor and receive a personalized plan.

3. Go see the world with protected vision in today’s technology driven world.

Schedule an appointment now. So you can stop worrying if technology has damaged your vision, and instead receive digital defense in our digital world.

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We All Use Them

In today’s world, nearly every age of student and every type of occupation requires the use of smartphones, computers, tablets, and TVs. In fact, about 90% of adults spend at least two hours daily on a digital device, and nearly 70% use two or more devices at one time! We spend most of our waking moments with our eyes glued to a screen and while this online connection offers efficiency in our everyday lives, it can put undue stress and strain on our eyes. This was previously called computer vision syndrome or, more commonly known now as digital eye strain.

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Digital Eye Strain

At Vision Specialists, we understand you are concerned about the effect digital devices have on your eyes. That’s why we’re here. To help you understand what you can do to defend your eyes for the future.

Digital eye strain is a group of symptoms resulting from the use of computers and other digital devices. Nearly 60% of Americans notice some form of digital eye strain.

Individuals may experience ocular dryness due to the fact that our blinks are often incomplete and our blink rate is reduced when in front of a screen. In fact, our blink rate is reduced to about one-third in comparison to natural blinks when otherwise not digitally engaged. Our eyes need a regular blink action in order to smooth tears over the front surface of the eye to keep it hydrated and our vision clear. By not blinking, the tears break up and evaporate into the air and the ocular surface becomes irregular which can lead to redness, burning, stinging, and intermittent blurred vision.

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The eye muscles needed to keep focused on a near object such as a phone or computer can also be affected with excess screen time. When the muscles get overworked or fatigued, a person may notice tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and even chronic neck and back pain due to straining. In some cases, these symptoms are a result of trigeminal dysphoria, which is ocular misalignment leading to a myriad of masquerading symptoms. Digital device use can exacerbate these symptoms and have a major impact on a person’s overall quality of life.  If you are concerned about digital eye strain or trigeminal dysphoria, experience digiGUARD® technology at your next exam and ask your doctor about a neurolens® evaluation. 

Blue light is a common perpetrator leading to eye discomfort and fatigue as well, and a recent “buzzword” in mainstream media that raises frequent questions from patients in our exam rooms.

Schedule an appointment now. So you can receive your complimentary digiGuard® scan. The latest in digital damage detection, unique to Vision Specialists.

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What Is “Blue Light?”

Blue light is everywhere, it’s impossible to escape. That’s why you need to protect your eyes now more than ever before. Let us simplify it for you.

Visible light ranges from long wavelengths at the red end of the spectrum, to very short wavelengths toward the blue and violet end. Shorter wavelengths of light have more energy, called high-energy visible light (HEV), or “blue light.” Natural sunlight contains significant blue light, but blue light is also emitted from LED display screens: those used in phones, computers, and flat-screen televisions.

The amount of HEV light you receive from screens is only a fraction of that in comparison to sunlight, but with the increasing amount of time we all spend with our faces so near a screen, it begs the question, “How does this affect me?”

It should be noted that blue light is not always a bad thing. For example, shorter wavelength light is beneficial for mental performance, alertness, and mood. This is why we often get a “down in the dumps” feeling with dark, gray winter days without adequate sunlight, but notice it’s just easier to be in a better mood on bright, sunny days. Sunlight exposure in children is vital to growth and development, and recent studies have shown a lower incidence of myopia or near-sightedness in children with increased time spent outdoors.

Our circadian rhythm or internal clock is also regulated by the amounts of light that tell us when it’s natural to be awake or asleep. This is where our digital devices can be less than helpful. Using a phone or computer immediately before bedtime stops production of melatonin, a hormone needed for sleep, and disrupts the body’s natural cycle, keeping us stimulated and potentially making it much harder to fall asleep. A recent study from the National Eye Institute found that children’s eyes absorb even more blue light from digital devices than that of an adult, and are more susceptible to sleep disorders caused by blue light.

The cornea at the front surface of the eye and the lens, located just slightly behind, absorb a significant amount of ultraviolet rays before they can reach the retina. We know the harmful effects ultraviolet radiation can have on the eyes, specifically macular degeneration and cataract development. Blue light, however, is allowed to pass through all the ocular tissues almost undeterred, which has led many researchers to examine the potential long-term effects of blue light on the eyes specifically.

Here’s how we can help. Schedule an appointment today and get your digiGUARD® scan. After discussing the results with your doctor, you’ll receive your personalized plan to protect your eyes from blue light and further digital damage. So you can see the world with protected vision.

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Fact or Fiction – Let Us Simplify

You deserve clear, worry-free vision. We can help. Take back control of your vision with digiGUARD® technology at Vision Specialists.

There are several myths floating around on various news outlets and social media about all the harmful effects caused by excessive screen time and what everyone “should” be doing to protect themselves. The good news is that there is no scientific evidence stating that HEV or blue light will cause permanent vision damage.

While in early animal studies, it was suggested that blue light exposure could damage retinal cells and lead to macular degeneration, no human studies have conclusively shown that it causes ocular diseases or irreversible damage.

Even though retinal damage or disease may not be the outcome, there are a plethora of results indicating that digital eye strain is a real condition that affects the majority of our population. Ocular surface damage IS likely to occur with digital device use, but thankfully there are many ways new products and technology can help.

Protecting your eyes is simple. Schedule an appointment today to understand what you need to achieve clear and comfortable vision in today’s technology driven world.

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The Digital Defense You Deserve

At Vision Specialists, we know that you want to protect your vision from eye strain and digital damage. In order to do that, you can’t just stop living and working in the digital age. You need digiGUARD®. Experience digiGUARD® and learn what you can do to preserve your vision and relieve eye strain. And in the meantime, here are some helpful tips.

Although we cannot completely cut the digital cord, so to speak, there are several changes you can make to protect your eyes from digital eye strain.

  • Practice good posture and create a more ergonomic work space. Your computer should be at least arm’s length distance away and positioned slightly below eye level to avoid tilting your head and neck backward.
  • Don’t forget to blink! Follow the 20-20-20 rule by looking at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes while looking at a screen. During these short breaks, give yourself a few full, forceful blinks to redistribute tears and give your eyes a rest.
  • Ask your doctor for recommendations for artificial tears to help supplement your natural tear film and mention any symptoms you’re having as you may have a form of ocular surface disease. (Link to Ocular Surface Disease page)
  • Be mindful of overhead lighting and position your screen to reduce glare.
  • Adjust your screen brightness to “warmer” or less “cool” background lighting. Many smartphones have night modes and automatic light adjustments depending on the ambient room lighting.
  • Avoid using digital devices for at least 2 hours before your bedtime.
  • Enlarge text size to allow less squinting.
  • All prescription glasses should have anti-reflective treatments that help block glare and reflections, especially from screens. Many types offer anti-reflective technology that also selectively absorbs blue light.
  • Limit screen time for children–this also helps you be more mindful of your screen time as well!

We understand you need to use digital devices, which is why we are proud to be the only eye care office in the metro to provide our patients with digiGUARD as part of their routine eye exam. 

Here’s how we do it:

1. Get your digiGUARD® scan

2. Discuss the results with your doctor and receive a personalized plan.

3. Go see the world with protected vision in today’s technology driven world.

We believe you shouldn’t have to suffer negative effects of our everyday lifestyle. So, schedule an appointment now. That way you can stop worrying if digital devices are damaging your vision, and instead receive digital defense in our digital world.

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Dr. Dayna Hazlewood

Dr. Dayna Hazlewood was chosen from the top candidates from across the nation. Our doctor network has direct access to the most advanced eye care professional education system in the United States.