Addressing Digital Eye Strain in Contact Lenses
HELP! MY EYES AND CONTACT LENSES CAN’T TAKE ANOTHER ZOOM CALL!
BY DR. MARK E. SCHAEFFER, CLINICAL FIELD MANAGER AND DOCTOR OF OPTOMETRY AT MYEYEDR.
Help! Working from home and e-learning certainly has its perks: relaxed dress code, comfortable surroundings, and the ability to get “quality time” with the family. However, our eyes can experience fatigue and strain from long hours with digital devices especially in contact lenses. As eye care providers, we are experts on digital eye strain and ready to help get our patients and their eyes easily through your day from check ins to logouts.
Here are some steps (in and out of the office) for contact lens wearers to reduce digital eye strain.
- Get an up-to-date prescription. We know people get nervous every time we ask “which is better, 1 or 2?” (There’s a reason it’s called an eye exam, not eye quiz). Without a current prescription, we might choose a lens that is not accurate which will lead to more eye strain. Seemingly small changes in a prescription can make a huge difference when applied over an entire day. Glasses and contact lenses can have different prescriptions in order to achieve the best vision. Like when Waze and Google Maps give different routes, we still get to the destination, right
- Examine the ocular surface. A contact lens is a tiny piece of plastic that goes in a very delicate environment on the front of the eye. If we had a sprained ankle, we wouldn’t fix the issue by changing our shoes. Unless we fix the ankle, any pair of shoes won’t give us the results desired. Yeah, it will look great, but no one enjoys a limp.
- Switch to a newer lens design or material. Whether it’s daily disposables or other lens upgrades, MyEyeDr. has access to the latest lens technologies to deliver clear and comfortable vision. Even for those wearers who have astigmatism and presbyopia! (do these conditions link to our conditions page?)
- Wear blue light protection. This can be either in glasses over the contact lenses or in a contact lens itself. These lenses selectively block out harmful blue light that can cause eye fatigue and strain. Not all blue light blocking technology is created equal, so make sure that they selectively filter out high-intensity blue light.
- Give your eyes a break. Use the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes take 20 seconds and look 20 feet away. Don’t step away from the computer screen to only pull out a cell phone (that’s not helping relax the eyes!).
- Finally, talk to us at your eye exam. We ask guided questions during an exam to uncover any issues, so let us know if things are not going as well as desired. Words like “fine” and “okay” clue us in, but don’t specifically identify problems that can affect vision and comfort in contact lenses. With all the advances and options available, patients should be able to have a full day of comfortable vision with any vision correction.