March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month
The digital life is something that binds many of our lives, whether we are in the workplace, school environment and even lifeplace. March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month!
Some statistics from the Vision Council of American on some of the ramifications of digital device use: 32.4 percent report experiencing eye strain, 27.2 percent report experiencing dry eyes, 27.7 percent report experiencing headaches, 27.9 percent report experiencing blurred vision, 35 percent report experiencing neck and shoulder pain.
There are a couple of short term and long term concerns that comes up as we look at our lives and the lives of our children on devices:
Digital Eye Strain (DES). We can address this with lenses that allieviates focusing strain as well as filter blue light, visual hygeine (taking breaks, blinking) and modifying our environment at work (reducing overhead lighting that can cause glare).
Dry Eye Disease (DED) This is a progressive disease that needs early intervention and treatment to provide the best outcomes for our patients. Using artificial tears, "get the red out" or any type of over the counter drops is a band aid therapy. It will get you through the moment, but does not address the source of the problem! Our dry eye clinic is the first in the Sacramento Area that thoroughly addresses dry eye disease. We will share more details about this disease later on this month!
Eye health and systemic health issues. Although we may not have all of the answers, research is revealing significant health impacts of our lives on devices. About 80% of Americans are on digital devices, including television within 1 hour of bedtime. Blue light from devices suppresses melatonin and makes it difficult for us to fall asleep, stay asleep or really get into our deep sleep. Affects on sleep cycles can show up as behavioral disorders in children (ADD, ADHD) or poor mental focus in children and adults. Poor sleep impacts immune health, metabolism and proper cell regeneration that may lead to a whole host of health ramifications!
Macular Health The macula is the area in the back of our eyes that gives us our central vision. Located in this area is our fovea - about the size of the tip of a pin needle - this area gives us our "20/20" vision. More evidence is mounting that exposure to blue light may damage the photoreceptors in our macula area. This is an area of extreme concerns to everyone of us as the rates of Macular Degeneration is expected to double by 2050.
Our mission is to care for your Vision for Life! Taking that into mind, our team of doctors and staff are well versed on the solutions and latest treatments that are available to address those needs today! Our Dry Eye Clinic addresses the dry, watery, itchy, sandy, red, tired eyes. At your next visit, please make sure to discuss your digital life and concerns with our doctor.
Our doctors are leaders in the field of Optometry when it comes to blue light, dry eye disease and macular health. Dr. Heidi Pham-Murphy has represented our practice in advising other doctors in the industry on how to choose lens designs that address the digital eye strain and sleep pattern issues that our patients experience! you can read her article published in Eyecare Business this January! (This magazine is an industry magazine that has the highest readership of optometrist and opticians around the globe).
Thank you for reading. Please share any questions that you may have with us. And truly, thank you for entrusting us to care for your Vision for Life!
Dr. Thomas Murphy and Our Entire Eyecare Team