Digital technology constantly attacks your visual ability

Eyezen lens by Essilor offers greater protection

Continuous use of digital devices is harmful (Supplied)

Kumuda Setty
Auckland, April 15, 2022

The advent of digital technology has not only changed methods of communication and information management, but also the visual and postural habits of users.

The emergence of digital devices such as smartphones and tablets has revolutionised the way in which we communicate, learn, stay informed, work, entertain ourselves and relax. With an average of four different devices like computers, smartphones, tablets and TV, we tend to switch between them more frequently and at times even use them simultaneously.

Kumuda Setty

The time spent using these devices has increased significantly and continues to grow. Nine out of ten people state that they spend more time using them today than they did two years ago. Our daily lives have been impacted by this digital revolution and significantly affected our eyes.

Visual and postural behaviours

Our eyes are not naturally fit for the digital age: after only 20 minutes of looking at objects nearby, our visual ability weakens and we can experience eyestrain, headaches, blurriness and neck pains. Whether you spend three hours or up to 12 hours per day on devices, your digital life has an impact on your vision.

The use of these devices creates new visual and postural behaviours. Ten years ago, there was only one reading distance: the distance at which we held a book or newspaper. On paper, characters have always been fixed in size and highly contrasted. Today, in addition to reading books, we also read on smartphones, tablets and computers at different distances (some of them quite short) and in various postures, as a study undertaken by the Essilor R&D has shown on screens, characters are becoming smaller and more pixelated.

Even our light environment has changed. Ten years ago, our eyes were exposed to natural light or artificial light emitted by incandescent lamps. Today, our eyes are confronted with potential new dangers, both at home and at work.

Artificial light risks

Several independent studies conducted by health agencies are now taking an interest in risks related to new sources of artificial light, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), since the latter, particularly cool white LEDs, present an emission peak in the harmful blue-violet band and have a more elevated luminance/brightness than traditional sources. Yet, LEDs are now present in most modern lighting systems and on a large number of screens, especially computer, tablet and smartphone screens.

As a result, our eyes must focus more intensely and more often adjust to the varying distances of use and small, pixelated characters found on screens. This not only causes eyestrain but also postural aches and pain.

Research findings

A study conducted in 2014 by the Ipsos institute on four thousand people in France, the United States, Brazil and China revealed that (a) Two out of three people feel that they must make an additional effort in front of screens to see well (b) Three out of four people suffer from eyestrain (c) 70% complain of neck and shoulders pain and (d) Over one out of two people are bothered by the strong brightness of their screens. The harmful blue-violet light emitted by screens can contribute to premature ageing of the eyes.

This study showed that all users of digital devices – regardless of their age, the type of device used and the frequency of use, feel the same discomfort, related to the difficulty of reading small characters and screen brightness. However, the level of discomfort varies depending on the user’s age. In fact, for younger users, the main discomfort is screen brightness, while for older users, it is the effort required to decipher the small characters.

Look, Eyezen lenses create a new experience (From Essilor Website)

Eyezen lenses by Essilor

By continually placing end-users at the heart of its innovation process, Essilor closely studied how new digital devices and their use are impacting vision and posture, thus making it possible to identify and characterise new visual needs. This in-depth understanding of the users of digital devices led to a combination of two cutting-edge technologies of power distribution and light filtering. a perfect fit with our new connected lifestyles.

Eyezen lenses are specifically designed to meet today’s visual requirements. Thanks to its enhanced design, these single vision lenses can support you when you are working, socialising or gaming on your phone, computer or games console. Continue to do what you enjoy with sharp, comfortable vision. You can ask your optometrists for the Essilor Eyezen lens which corrects each reading distance required by digital devices, relaxes users’ eyes and protects them against the potential dangers of blue-violet light.

This technology selectively filters out harmful blue-violet light, emitted especially by screens, while allowing beneficial light (including blue-turquoise light necessary for the proper regulation of circadian rhythms) to pass through. This technology also provides the best protection against reflected light, smudges, scratches, dust and water for optimal vision and lasting transparency.

These lenses underwent performance testing under actual conditions of use and prescription before they were placed on the market. This approach was adopted to confirm their benefits and measure wearer satisfaction.

Kumuda Setty is National Sales & Marketing Manager at Essilor New Zealand based in Henderson, West Auckland. Essilor is a global leader in the ophthalmic industry, committed to providing solutions to correct and protect the visual health of people worldwide.

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