Ocushield Review

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Ocushield Review

Research into the effects of blue screens is astounding, in this modern, technological world we live in experts have said that we are absorbing more than 10 times too much blue light from our digital screens, far more than previous generations. and really, it’s only going to get worse.

At both work and play, we spend an average of 9 hours a day looking at a screen of some sort. You may initially think no, not me and truly believe you spend far less time looking at a screen but in reality you could well be spending far more time than you realise.

Blue Light 

Computers and smartphones all emit high levels of blue light, a high-energy light that stimulates the brain and eyes, and suppresses melatonin, a hormone created to regulate sleep cycles which can have obvious effects on us and more importantly, our kids.

But using a digital device is an essential part of our daily lives, for both adults and kids alike. At secondary school, students are expected to login to their school accounts to access their homework or to do online research, as well as then playing the likes of Minecraft, Fortnite, and YouTube. We just can’t seem to escape being online these days. But as essential as it has become, we’re generally unaware of the harm we’re doing to our eyes, our sleep and our wider health.

Solutions

Hopefully, at some point in the future, the screens on our new devices will be developed to reduce blue light from the moment we look at the screen, but while we’re waiting, there is a solution.

Transparent shields are currently available that when placed over our screens, filter out harmful blue light without affecting the screen’s display giving you the knowledge that we and our children are being protected. Reassuringly, Ocushield is the only blue light screen protector registered as a medical device in the UK.

We love new product design stories and this is a great one; Ocushield was launched by Dhruvin Patel while studying Optometry at City University in January 2015. He noticed that while many pairs of glasses and sunglasses have blue light filters built in, there weren’t many protective devices available for those who don’t wear glasses – especially while using phones or computers. So, and still a student, he secured a small grant from CitySpark which he used alongside his student grant, to get the business up and running.

Review Panel results

Our panel of testers have each taken away a different Ocushield product to try on their devices. After a 2 week trial this is what the results have been.

Device: Acer Laptop 15.8” screen

User: Teenager

Initial Impression: Teenager noticed straight away that his laptop screen had been touched but was surprisingly happy to try it out. His Mum said he often gets headaches and struggles to get to sleep at night, he has had bouts of anxiety after times when he’s been online for longer than normal, apparently it’s a thing – gaming rage! A rather extreme name for it but as a family we have seen this and as a result we now limit screen time, but it is difficult with the increasing amount of homework that needs online research.

After 2 weeks: Teenager is still happy to have the screen there, in fact he now says he quite likes it. He has not complained of headaches and although there has been an improvement in sleep, he’s still not quite going straight to sleep. However I may need to buy an Ocushield for his iphone as his friends tend to message him before sleep which is a likely reason for no sleep…

The second week of testing the Ocushield was over half term so I relented and allowed my teen to enter a Fortnite tournament to test his ‘gadget overload anxiety’. And happily there were no meltdowns as had been experienced previously. Obviously it’s not quite a scientific experiment but I do feel the shield had a pleasing, positive effect. 

Fitting tips: The shield fits perfectly within the aperture of the laptop screen frame (see photo). There appeared to be a lot of elements provided in the pack and it was initially slightly confusing knowing which to use. But it seems that Ocushield spoil you with options (see photo); there’s a semi permanent option in which you can attach the shield directly to the screen using small double sided transparent sticky pads, you can remove it again should you wish, but I’m not sure I’d need to. However should you need to remove it, the pack comes with a second set of stickers for that occasion. Alternatively, you can attach either the provided small or large clips that enable the shield to slide in and out of place whenever you like to. We went straight for the semi permanent option of the transparent stickers and are really happy with it.

 

Device: MacBook Pro 15”

User: Working Mum

Initial Impression: Straight away it has improved the look of the screen, it reminds me of the original Kindle screen which was a diffused screen that makes it possible to read books in the sunlight.  The MacBook has a very shiny screen (see photo) but the shield has immediately diffused that shine and stopped the normal glare. I hadn’t noticed how much of a glare there was until I attached the Ocushield and the glare went. I love that.

I would have preferred the shield to fit the entire screen, as there is around 5cm of screen around the edge that is still exposed. Being a Mac, this isn’t a light emitting area of the screen so it doesn’t effect the blue light, but it would have made fitting slightly it easier as I had to take it off a couple of times to get it in the right place (see below). I don’t notice it all all though so it’s certainly no problem.

After 2 weeks: I’m still really happy with the shield, it has definitely made a difference. If I’m working late at night (which is quite often) I will have often had trouble getting to sleep, but there’s a noticeable improvement now. I’ve always put it down to being anxious or stressed over work and had never considered the blue light, so if anyone complains of a headache or lack of sleep now I suggest blue light as the culprit. I honestly think everyone should be aware of it. I certainly wasn’t before now.

Fitting: Because the shield is slightly smaller than the size of the Mac’s screen you need to eye it up when placing it. I placed mine too low at first and had to prize it off, twice, but it’s good to know the stickers can handle some re-applications and prizing it off didn’t damage the shield at all. 

The top of the shield has a cut-out to fit around the built in camera lens (see photo), it’s a long rectangular shape with a tiny circle cut out to the left, use this circle and the camera lens as your guide to know where to place the screen, once I realised this, it went on really well.

When in place, the light shining through the screen makes the double sided stickers slightly visible but I found that using the yellow sticker paper to lightly press the sticker into place on the screen, the flatten out the minute air bubbles before fixing the Ocushield in place reduced their visibility really well. 

 

Device: iphone 6

User: Working Mum & Teenager

Initial Impression: There’s a small difference in the screen, it looks softer somehow, I don’t really notice it’s there so I’m looking forward to testing it out.

After 2 weeks: Fantastic. I am a big reader and since the e-readers came out I’ve been a fan, having gone through a number of devices, I’m now on an iPad and the kindle app is by far the most used. However I’ve got into the habit of having to turn it off and put it down by 9pm if I’m going to get a good night sleep, which is a pain when I’m in a great book – in fact it’s got to the point where I’ve been going back to paper books. So now I’ve got the Ocushield on my iPhone, I’ve started to use the kindle app on my phone after 9pm to test it out and I’m delighted to sat my sleep has not gone back to the dark days of the putting down the iPad at 9pm. I’m totally getting one for my iPad. Highly recommend!

Fitting: You attach it in almost the same way as a regular screen protector that you can buy, although with the added benefit of a nifty installation tray which takes out the hassle.

Ocushield screen protectors are available via the Ocushield online store and a number of opticians in the UK and Ireland. For more information visit www.ocushield.com.

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