Since I spend much of my time on a computer at work and writing I started to think about the potential impact it could be having on my eyesight. I have always had very good vision but I have noticed in recent months that I have been experiencing a little more difficulty in reading books in low light. It has not always been this way for me. I am thinking it is related to my time on the computer, my wife says I’m just getting old but I KNOW that can’t be true. It did make me begin to wonder if there was a correlation between the use of technology and eyesight especially with all the people on smart phones, tablets and computers today. As I bounced this around in my head it also dawned on me that there a lot of small children that are using everything from tablets to smart phones. Could this be causing eyesight problems for children before they enter their teenage years? If so, could the eyewear industry see an increase in sales due to increased uses of computer/phone technology? My last question is for eyewear stores, if there is an increase are you ready to prevent shoplifting of your merchandise because increased patronage could mean increased theft?
Theft is always a concern for retailers but those that fail to take steps to prevent shoplifting often experience increased merchandise shortage at inventory time. Increased shortage means less profit and a decline in sales because merchandise can’t be kept in stock to sell to paying customers. By using retail anti-theft devices on goods, merchandise theft can be greatly curtailed if not stopped completely. Specialty stores like an eyewear retail shop can use an eyewear tag on glasses to stop pilferage. An eyewear tag is an electronic article surveillance (EAS), retail anti-theft device that is attached to the arm of a pair of glasses. The tag will cause an EAS tower to sound an alarm and lights will flash if glasses with a tag on them are carried close to the doors. Alarm activations result in store employees responding to the doors and conducting receipt checks and recovering unpaid products. They also result in bad guys dropping merchandise and running. One other benefit of the tag is that it deters criminals from stealing in the first place. The tag can only be removed with a special detachment key and if someone tries to pry it off at minimum the arm will break off if the whole frame doesn’t fall apart.
Do our eyes get damaged from the use of technology? According to an article on the American Optometric Association website titled, “The 21st century child: Increased Technology Use May Lead To Future Eye Health And Vision Issues”, posted July 28, 2015, “ Today’s electronic devices, also give off high-energy, short-wave, blue and violet light, which may affect vision and even prematurely age the eyes. Early research shows that overexposure to blue light could contribute to eye strain and discomfort and may lead to serious conditions later in life such as age- related macular degeneration (AMD), which can cause blindness.” (Italics and underlining are mine for emphasis) http://www.aoa.org/newsroom/the-21st-century-child-increased-technology-use-may-lead-to-future-eye-health-and-vision-issues?sso=y . The story goes on to report that Optometrists are watching new research on the subject. If the initial concerns on the subject prove to be true then it could be I am experiencing some of my sight issues to technology use. The larger issue is that there should be more concern for the children who are growing up in an age where 5 year olds are smarter than I am when it comes to smart phones. They are constantly in front of these devices and it is not unreasonable to suspect we will see the increase in eyeglass wear as I suggested at the beginning of the article.
Optical store owners get ready sales could be growing at an exponential rate as the effect of technology start to take their toll on so many of our young adults. I hope the studies do not play out and children do not suffer ill-effects. If however you see me or more of my peers in the near future, prepare now to prevent shoplifting by using retail anti-theft devices because not everyone that enters your store is going to be honest. Use an eyewear tag on all of your glasses and you will continue to see black ink on that bottom line.
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