Ambient lighting. Oh, yes. If you have spent some time on the endmyopia blog, you already are familiar with this topic. And since I have had a few thousand students go through this before, I have more than a passing suspicion as to where you might be at, on this topic.
So, let’s dedicate this installment to doing just one quick, small, simple thing. One that you will thank me for, later.
You probably have done enough Snellen and centimeter measurements to know quite well how much ambient lighting affects your eyesight. It is a big, huge, major factor in how well you can see.
And incidentally, it is also the major compounding factor in close-up eye strain.
This installment is more about getting you to do one little thing, than it is about learning new things. I spent so many years in my local practice, where I eventually learned that maybe 20% of the work is to create awareness and share knowledge, and 80% is helping you overcome the urge to skip things, to procrastinate, to “oh I will leave this one off the list” various pieces.
Surprisingly but consistently, everybody goes and buys the correct prescriptions. Centimeter measurements happen. Log? That’s where things get a little less definite. Snellen charts may require a bit of prodding, which is why I bought them in large quantities, and gave them out at the office.
You know what students really liked to skip, of all the things I recommend in the program?
Improving Ambient Lighting.
Big, bold, orange. I don’t know why this one is a hurdle, but I could ask ten students and seven would groan and scratch their heads, and promise to take care of that, soon.
I ended up buying full spectrum UV bulbs in bulk, as well.
Unfortunately I can’t do this for you here in the online program. I have dreams of just mailing you these things at the appropriate time, and maybe one day we will make it that far. The many countries, different local online shopping outlets, currencies, incorrectly filled out address forms online are still a big list of things to work out, before I can do you that particular favor.
So in the meantime, a whole installment, just to say one thing:
Buy a couple of full spectrum UV bulbs.
Quality and price varies widely, a good place for some research is Amazon.com which shows popularity, customer feedback, and competitive pricing. If that outlet is not convenient in your locale (it isn’t in mine), it is still a good education tool. Spend twenty minutes, to look around.
Here is how I structure the search: Sorted Amazon Link
So there you have the most popular options. Now you can copy and paste the item into your local Google search, and find online outlets in your area selling that or similar products. Or you may be able to find them in your local hardware store (even though that means putting this off, which is not ideal).
These Alzo bulbs for instance, at 5500k daylight, cost less than 20 Euro for a pack of four:
Buy yourself a set of bulbs that will work with the lighting at home, where you are most likely to read, or work on the computer.
Once they arrive, compare your centimeter (or just look at your comfortable distance difference), of your previous lighting, to this one.
There are those among us who already have very good ambient lighting. But the odds are about 7-3 against, from my experience. And if you spend an hour or more per day with poor ambient lighting, close-up, especially during the winter when you already don’t get a lot of good lighting – it really adds up over the next several months.
It adds up more, than the 20 Euros for a set of four bulbs.
Humor me, indulge me, grab some proper UV spectrum lighting to deal with the 4PM sunsets.
If you find a major difference in how you feel after an hour or two of close-up, using a correct lighting solution, consider whether you can upgrade your work environment for this as well. A desk lamp (or two, ideally) may be enough (paired of course with the full spectrum bulbs) to improve your work conditions, as well.