By Jacqui Mayhew 

Improve eyesight  by wearing specially designed glasses for high intensity screen-based activities whether work-related such as software programming or simply a leisure pastime like gaming. At a time when research evidence points to the major problem of computer vision syndrome (CVS) getting rapidly worse, new solutions are required to address the eyesight issues arising from our increasingly screen-based lives where we continuously switch from PC to Smartphone to TV without giving our eyes a break. So it is unsurprising to find a company - Gunnar Optiks of San Diego, California - launching what it calls ‘Digital Performance Eyewear' to help protect wearers from eye strain, headaches and dry eye due to prolonged screen usage.

We spend too much time indoors under artificial light focusing primarily on the short distance between our eyes and some form of screen interface. Unsurprisingly, our ability to see objects in the distance is deteriorating and the world is becoming progressively more short-sighted with around 40% of the population in North America and some 30% in Europe now affected. Furthermore, according to the American Optometric Association, some 80% of US workers experience negative effects from prolonged screen usage. Many people affected by CVS are daytime contact lens wearers and the combination of too much ‘stare time' with blink rates reduced by up to 80% exacerbates the dry eye problem already evident with screen work. For such people, a switch to overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses worn only while sleeping would at least address this aspect of the CVS problem and help to improve eyesight .

By wearing the Digital Performance Eyewear in combination with overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses, it appears that the effects of CVS for short-sighted daytime contact lens wearers can be mitigated significantly. Additionally, with such a combination only a standard version of the Gunnar Optiks glasses is required otherwise more expensive prescription lenses are necessary. The lenses in the Gunnar Optik glasses (developed in partnership with Carl Zeiss Vision) improve contrast, minimise distortion and aid the eye's natural focusing, allowing muscles to relax and easing eye strain. They also have an anti-reflective layer to reduce glare and reflections as well as a tint to filter out the harshness of fluorescent light and shift the colour to a warmer, more natural temperature all of which helps to improve eyesight .

Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .

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