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Digital eye strain is caused by several factors, including exposure to blue light that is emitted by digital devices and staring at objects up close for extended periods of time. People typically blink 12 times a minute, but when they stare at a screen, they tend to only blink five times a minute, which means their eyes are not being lubricated properly.
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Tired eyes, blurry vision, neck pain and headaches are all symptoms of our technology-obsessed reality and goes by the acronym DES: digital eye strain, also known as ocular fatigue.
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The struggle is real for people who wear glasses. Our spectacles often get fogged up in the winter, working out with them is always a difficult task and they somehow always go missing. But we often forget about the benefits they afford us. They open our eyes to a whole new world and offer us the opportunity to see things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.
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What type of frame works best for your face shape?
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During a recent ski trip to Banff, I was surprised to witness the number of people on the mountain without any type of protective eyewear. While most skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers on the mountain had the proper gear to protect their head, body, hands and feet, they fell short on protecting one of their bodies' most valuable assets -- their eyes.
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A recent survey commissioned by the Alberta Association of Optometrists revealed that nearly 40 per cent of Albertans surveyed do not have a regular optometrist. When patients bypass their annual eye exam, they don't understand that the consequences could last a lifetime. This oversight results in significant costs for individuals whose lives have been affected, while vision loss is also quickly becoming a major burden for taxpayers and the Alberta economy.
One out of every three seniors in Ontario will have some form of vision-reducing eye disease. When you think about the strain and fatigue our eyes have endured throughout our lifetime, this makes sense. The countless hours spent in front of a computer screen or the damage caused by the powerful UV rays from the sun -- all of this slowly adds up.
The issue and risks are so high that it has triggered Health Canada to regulate cosmetic contact lenses in the same way as corrective lenses. Manufacturers will have until July 2016 to comply. Cosmetic contact lenses will face the same licensing, manufacturing, labeling and instruction requirements to improve their safety as other medical devices do.
As parents, we know our children well, but do you know how well your child can see? October is Children's Vision Month and it's a good reason to pause and think about how our children see the world. It's easy to assume that their vision is perfect, especially when they haven't mentioned otherwise, since children simply believe that everyone sees the way they do.
Canadians are using technology more frequently than ever before -- but what is it doing to our eyes? We're becoming more knowledgeable about the impact blue light has on our health and we know exposure will only increase over time. Digital eye strain is one thing, but the effects of blue light are cumulative, and can lead to more serious eye diseases.