When schools were abruptly shut down due to COVID-19 in March it caught all of us by surprise. Who would have ever thought that we were going to have to go from “home schooling” to now “virtual schooling?” No one was really prepared for this turn of events last time. We, as eye care providers were no different. I have fielded a number of questions regarding screen time and blue light exposure since we reopened and schools shut down. As we face the start of the school year in the fall we know it is going to be virtual. While there are still some questions about what is going to happen and the logistics, one this is certain, our school aged children will be spending an enormous amount of time in front of computer screens, tablets and various devices. Let’s get these eyes prepared with a “Back to (virtual) School Kit” for the eyes!
First off, some rules of thumb, for every 20 minutes of screen time the child should take a 20 second break to look at an object at a distance. Secondly, we all need to make a conscious effort to make complete blinks and make them frequently. This is something we should all incorporate into our daily routine as computer/device users.
As part of our “Back to (vitural) School Kit” I am recommending a warm compress called the Bruder mask. The way a Bruder masks works and benefits device users is that it helps warm up and heat the glands of the eyes named meibomian glands. These glands contain a component of tears that help prevent the evaporation of tears that ultimately leads to dry eye syndrome. By using this mask you help keep these glands open and restore essential components of the tear film. I recommend using this nightly before going to bed.
The second part of the “Back to (virtual) School Kit” is a pair of computer glasses. These glasses will provide relief from hours of staring at a computer screen. They will have a minimal power in them to ease the accommodative stress (focusing at near) that is required for the working distance between the student and the screen. The glasses may be worn alone, over contact lenses or the power may be incorporated into an existing glasses prescription if the student currently wears glasses. In addition to helping ease the strain, these computer glasses will have a blue light treatment on them to help protect the student from the harmful blue light that is emitted from computer screens and devices. I recommend using these glasses when there is dedicated time in front of a computer screen.
I truly believe every student would benefit from this and we are pleased to provide this benefit for only $110. The glasses and mask would normally cost around $250. No appointment is needed. Feel free to contact us for a “Back to (virtual) School Kit.” You can also purchase it on our web store at http://www.gee-eye-care.square.site/s/shop.