Preventing & Reducing Eye Strain

Eye FatigueJust like muscles fatigue and strain through overuse during exercise, heavy lifting and even yard work, so too can eye muscles suffer fatigue and strain through overuse. And just like leg, back or arm muscles need time to rest and recuperate after times of extensive strain, eye muscles also need rest.

Common causes of eye strain resulting from overuse include:

  1. Extended use of electronics including computers, cell phones, tablets and televisions.
  2. Extended periods of intense focus such as when driving & reading.
  3. Underlying eye problems. Eye strain won’t cause these, but certain eye conditions can worsen eye fatigue.
  4. Extreme light exposure. Bright lights, glare and insufficient lighting all contribute to eye strain.
  5. Individual factors such as stress level and posture also impact intensity of eye strain.

Just like leg or arm muscle show clear signs of fatigue, so too do eye muscles. While everyone recognizes when eyes become tired, additional signs can help catch the situation before extreme fatigue sets in, which prevents the more debilitating symptoms like severe headaches and inability to focus.

Signs of severe eye fatigue include:

  1. Sore eyes
  2. Trouble focusing, double vision or blurred vision
  3. Dry, or watery eyes
  4. Light sensitivity
  5. Neck, shoulder or back pain

Fortunately, eye strain does not permanently damage eyes or change their anatomy. Unfortunately, strain on the eye muscles does significantly impact an individual’s productivity. In fact, up to 90% of computer workers experience eye strain, and WebMD says this discomfort could be responsible for up to 10 million eye examinations yearly. This number is expected to grow with the increasing use of handheld devices that cause added eye strain because of looking at small text sizes. WebMD also says digital devices may add to eye strain by causing individuals to blink less, resulting in tired, itchy, dry and burning eyes.

Yet another similarity eye strain holds with other types of muscle strain involves the many and varied ways for preventing and relieving the discomfort.

Suggestions for preventing and relieving eye strain include:

  1. Taking breaks. Eye experts, including those at the Mayo Clinic, recommend the 20-20-20 rule for preventing eye strain. This involves taking a break every 20 minutes from any activity causing eye strain. During that break, look about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
  2. Changing poor habits. In addition to taking frequent breaks, consider simply minimizing screen time. Other habits to consider changing include making sure you blink often enough and varying activities throughout the day.
  3. Paying attention to ergonomics. Simple ergonomic changes for reducing and preventing eye strain include choosing screens that tilt & swivel, using an adjustable chair, and placing a document holder next to your computer screen. Not only can these adjustments help eyes feel better, they will likely ease the strain on back and neck muscles too.
  4. Adjust lighting & contrast. Changes to lighting and general visibility can also help ease eye strain. Those changes include using a glare filter over computer screens, changing lighting to reduce glare and reflection, and adjusting desk position and/or using screens to avoid glare from natural light through windows. Also, simply cleaning smudges from computer screens helps a lot with improving visibility and thus reducing eye strain.
  5. Consider alternative approaches. Maybe you’ve done all of the above and still struggle with eye strain. Consider learning cupping as well as how to properly massage your eyes to help relieve eye strain. Other approaches include using artificial tears and resting eyes in complete darkness. Also consider wearing occupational glasses, such as computer safety glasses, to increase contrast perception and filter out glare and reflective light.

Even though eye strain does not permanently damage eyes, it definitely affects individual productivity. Even worse, though, is that impaired vision caused by eye strain can create safety issues resulting in a severely worse situation with more permanent consequences.

For your own comfort and safety and potentially that of others as well, decide on a few small changes you can make today to prevent and reduce eye strain. Chances are good that no one method for reducing eye strain will provide complete and permanent relief, so consider developing an eye rest routine combining the above suggestions to help prevent, reduce and relieve your eye strain.

Introducing Oakley’s NEW Prizm™ Lens Technology

oakley-si-prizm-graphic

Oakley’s NEW Standard Issue Prizm™ Lenses for its shooting and tactical line of glasses provides peak performance that starts with razor-sharp focus. This new lens enhances the ability of the human eye to adapt and to see with sharpness while providing protection and comfort for wearers.

Specifically designed with the needs of marksmen in mind, the NEW Prizm™ Lens provides optimal vision in a variety of field conditions. By strategically blocking wavelengths along the color spectrum, the lens maximizes contrast between colors, resulting in enhanced vision and reduced eye fatigue.

Prizm™ Lens Features

Because Oakley’s Prizm™ lenses are color-tuned specifically for shooting, they boost a shooter’s recognition of targets by blocking background distractions such as dirt, trees and sky. These lenses will also improve a wearer’s ability to see reticle patterns through a scope more clearly.  This allows shooters to better determine scale or position when honing in on targets.

The Prizm™ currently comes in two lens types, the TR45 and the TR 22. The TR 45 Prizm™ Lens is a lighter-shaded lens and offers 45% VLT (visible light transmission), perfect for overcast days or low-light conditions. The TR22 Prizm™ Lens is a darker shade and allows for 22% VLT, better for bright, sunny days.

All Oakley lenses are made from Plutonite, Oakley’s high purity optical grade polycarbonate to protect wearers from fragments that could damage eyes. All lenses also block 100% of UVA, UVB, UVC & harmful violet-blue light up to 400nm.

Also standard are a smudge-free lens coating, a secure fit even in wet conditions via hydrophilic Unobtainium nose pads, an advanced backside anti-fog coating, and a front-side hard coating for scratch resistance.

Prizm™ Lens Frame Options

The new CE Prizm™ Lenses come in several frame options.

The SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 is compatible with helmet-mounted night vision devices & MICH, ACH, CVC, PASGT & Crye helmets. This frame is also compatible with over-ear hearing protection/comms, has a quick, tool-free lens change, and is chemical and impact resistant as well as ultra lightweight. And, of course, the SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 meets all ballistic and tactical standards for military use.

Not only does the SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 protect soldiers from the smallest, mission-ending fragment, it also provides the optical clarity that helps soldiers avoid adding danger to an already dangerous situation. With uncompromising comfort, soldiers can concentrate and stay focused in a way that maximizes their efficiency.

Rounding out Oakley’s new Prizm™ lens offerings for ballistic and tactical wear is the Oakley Tactical SI M-Frame Helo Gasket for Ballistic 2.0 and 3.0 . The Helo Gasket is a lightweight and soft rubberized gasket that blocks wind and dust and is ideal for airborne and rotary wing operations.

Both Prizm™ lenses also come in the Oakley SI Radar Range frame. This frame is lightweight, stress-resistant and comfortable. It comes with multiple interchangeable nose pad options for a customizable and secure fit.

For individuals needing both lens types, the Oakley SI Radar Range CE Array and the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 CE Array both provide interchangeable lens options that include the TR22 and the TR45.Oakley SI Prizm Array

Another frame option, the Oakley SI Flak Jacket with Prizm™ Lens is currently in production stages and will soon be available.

All Oakley Prizm™ glasses meet or exceed ANSI standards.

Yaktrax Product Review for Runners & Walkers

Are you an avid runner or walker who wants to continue your sport outdoors even in the winter months? Do snow and ice-covered roads either send you indoors or slow you down as you struggle to keep from slipping and falling? Perhaps training stops all together when snow and ice Yaktrax Footwear Tractionhits.

If this is you, consider using Yaktrax Pro Footwear Traction or Yaktrax Walker Footwear Traction.

At $27 for the Yaktrax Pro and $17 for the Yaktrax Walker, Yaktrax provide an inexpensive option for anyone wanting to continue walking or running outdoors during the winter months when roads often become covered with ice and snow.

What are Yaktrax?

Yaktrax winter traction devices slip on shoes to allow for walking and running outdoors when roads are ice and/or snow covered. They provide 360 degrees of winter traction that allows natural movement on snow and ice.

The biting coils on Yaktrax grip snow and ice and allow continued enjoyment of outdoor activities such as walking and running without having to change how the activity is done.

What are the benefits of Yaktrax?

In addition to better traction on icy and/or snowy roads, benefits of Yaktrax include increased:

  • Confidence to run or walk on packed snow without fear of slipping.
  • Opportunity for year-round training.
  • Stability that allows for normal completion of activity.

Anyone from leisure walkers to serious and intermediate runners will appreciate these benefits.

Are they easy to use?

In addition to the many benefits of wearing Yaktrax, putting them on is very easy. After putting on shoes, simply hook Yaktrax over the toe of the shoe, and then stretch Yaktrax to cover the entire bottom of the shoe. Then, securely fasten the heel tab to the back heel of shoe.

After putting on Yaktrax, make sure they are securely in place around the perimeter before pulling the performance strap over the foot and looping its end under the guide loop in the front.  Finally, bring the strap over top of shoe and fasten velcro securely.

Yaktrax come with picture directions that are easy to follow and that also provide maintenance instructions, which include periodically pinching coils to help maintain original shape and angle.

What do users have to say about Yaktrax?

Runners of varying distances extol the usability of Yaktrax because they provide solid grip and traction even on long runs. They also note the clear difference in stability among those wearing Yaktrax and those wearing only their athletic shoes.

Avid runners also say they would not recommend Yaktrax for long distance runs or walks on roads not covered with snow or ice. Many heavily-traveled roads clear more quickly than others, and running on these bare roads in Yaktrax for long distances does not work well and can damage the Yaktrax.

However, even on clear roads, there is often room on the side of the road to run where there still is ice and/or snow for the Yaktrax to grip.

What else do I need to know about Yaktrax?

Lightweight and compact, Yaktrax fit over almost every type of shoe. They are also highly durable to -41 degrees, abrasion resistant and coated with zinc for rust prevention. Finally, Yaktrax are also spikeless for safety.

Yaktrax are not for indoor use, and wearers should avoid surfaces like marble and other flooring that could get scratched by the coils.

At only $27 for Yaktrax Pro and $17 for the Yaktrax Walker, Yaktrax provide a simple and inexpensive solution for those wanting to walk and/or run outside during the winter months.