It’s easy for us to get consumed in our smartphones, tablets and laptops, considering everything they can do. But the side effects are often overlooked. Eye strain, retinal dysfunction and fatigue can all be caused by using electrical devices too much and at the wrong times of day.
A recent study by BMJ Open analysed the sleep and device usage of 9,846 people aged between 16 and 19. It found that they only got around five hours of sleep a night, as a result of using tech before clocking off. It’s recommended that adults get eight hours of sleep a night.
Many optometry experts believe that a lot of this comes down to exposure to blue light emitted by electronics. Is there a way to change this? One optometry student reckons there is: the Ocushield.
The Ocushield, developed by City University London optometry student Dhruvin Patel, is a screen protector that boasts a 95 percent transparency. As well as this, it cuts blue light side effects by 30 percent.
It’s comprised of a sheet of Polyethylene Terephthalate – a synthetic resin made by copolymerising ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid – and is affixed to a device like any other screen protector.
Dhruvin came up with the product during his university studies and was largely inspired by a lens coating built for glasses.
He says: “I saw a product made by Hoya, called Blue Control, when I was working with Vision Express. It was a lens coating for people who wear glasses that protects their eyes from harmful blue light.
“I was intrigued at the blue light phenomenon and started doing some research. I found that blue light also causes sleep cycle disturbance and is a risk factor is diseases such as AMD (age related macular degeneration).
“Based on these findings, I knew I had to develop a product that would people from their digital devices. A screen protector seemed the best way of doing this, as not everyone wears glasses. And there are many who happen to wear them but feel self-conscious.”
The enterprising, tech-savvy student took his findings and idea to a business competition called Cityspark and ended up winning £3,500 ($5,350) to help bring the product to market.
Dhruvin is adamant that he’s created a unique product here. He says: “With a background in ocular health and being sold by opticians, Ocushield is definitely the best quality product to protect your eyes and sleep.
“This is because it cuts blue light by up to 30 percent, one of the most effective filters on the market, while still ensuring the image quality of the screen is flawless – meaning images and movies can be seen as normal.”
Dhruvin has plenty of plans for the future of his product, including expansion to other devices and areas of the world.
“This summer we are launching Ocushiled for the VDU market, MacBook Pro and Samsung devices,” he says. “With distribution extending to Europe and USA, we’re excited to get things moving even further. And I think that as the research increases and more publications on the World Wide Web are published, blue light protection will be as big as glare protection.”
Image credits: Ocushield