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Managing Zoom Fatigue – Part 2

We continue our conversation with Dhruvin Patel, Founder and CEO of Ocushield

Nuraan Petersen: Yes, absolutely. And what about people wearing glasses? How is this affecting people wearing glasses? You know, is there a difference?

Dhruvin Patel: Yeah, so so if glasses, I mean, in most cases, glasses are given for people to, you know, effectively see better and make it easier for their eyes. So if they weren’t wearing glasses, then like, naturally, any work that they’re doing close up work, for example, is going to be harder for them.

So you have to wear glasses, now you’re talking about that average person, compared to the average person doesn’t wear glasses and someone that wears glasses, we take away the fact that the person that needs glasses, wears a prescription anywhere and needs that, glasses do add an element of aberrations and complexity to light because if you think about it, it’s a it’s a material in front of the eyes. And that material is not is not in its way you know the same it’s not pure that it’s going to transpose 100% of light into your eyes in the same way you know, light reflects and refracts into different directions.

And I mean lenses in this day and age are very good at making sure that light enters the eye in the correct way but you still have an aspect of actually, you know lights moving in multiple directions, you’ve got light hit the back of the lens and then peering back into the eye. There’s lots happening there. So that the average consumer or human who has glasses deals with more on a day to day basis than someone that doesn’t wear glasses because of the dynamics of how light is having to go into the eye but just to confirm people that wear glasses have to because it’s gonna they’ll be worse off if they if they don’t. So technically people that wear glasses are more likely to get have the eyes a little bit more strained than that those people that don’t.

Nuraan Petersen: Quite often I’ve seen the ring light reflected in people’s lenses. Do you have any advice for people wearing glasses

Dhruvin Patel: so if you’re talking about ring lights and they’ve got the bright you know light to illuminate this space, I think for people who have glasses it’s always to make sure that they have anti-reflexion and anti blue light coating on those lenses. So any good optometrists opticians will be able to offer those those coatings and what that does it make sure it reflects away all that harsh lighting. You know, I don’t know how people do with the ring lights was for me when I, when I’ve got a light, bright light on, it’s actually really, it’s distracting but also causes a lot of fatigue to your eyes because again, it’s a lot of strong light into your eyes. And for those people that do have those ring lights, maybe use a diffuser which, you know, takes away some of that harsh lightness, but is, you know, the added element into the environment where users have to deal with nowadays and ring lights are one of those which I’m uncomfortable with you using them throughout the whole day.

Nuraan Petersen: Do you have new developments, you know, what is your latest research revealing? Because we are bringing all of this new technology into our space. And this is your this is your passion isn’t it?

Dhruvin Patel: Yeah, so actually, at the moment, we are just about to begin a clinical trial with Aston University in the UK. And what we’re looking at is how actually, different devices, whether it be iPads or monitors are affecting university students in their day to day, when it comes to eye fatigue, and also their sleep disturbance. Now what we’re doing is we’re looking at, you know, no two people are the same. So when we look at research, when it comes to biology, you know, we’re always looking at it from a point of view that everyone has the same eyes or the same visual system, which is true to some aspects, but you’re never going to find the same two people because everyone you know, everyone’s visual systems, the eyes, the way they use devices, the environment is going to be completely different.

So what we’re looking at is actually is is the way people use screen times is that is that a general trend we’re seeing across this? Or is how it impacts users of devices quite varied. And so what we did when we’re doing a clinical trial around this topic, with Aston University, you know, really kind of going deeper into the effects of screen time on, you know, especially university students.

Nuraan Petersen: Oh, that’s, that’s amazing. Because I’m, I am wondering, you know, I know that you’re looking at the science of it, of course, you are a scientist, and I was wondering, are you looking at subjective human behaviour as well now, because it’s our, you know, our behaviour, I think, is changing quite significantly in response to how we are engaging with technology. So are you finding that you’re looking at sort of the hard and soft sciences?

Dhruvin Patel: Exactly, you hit you hit on the nail on the head there, you know, the purpose of this clinical trial is, again, to be more cognisant of the, you know, of the way different people interact. And again, their subjective, you know, their subjective responses, because two people, for example, could, their visual system could be really struggling, but one person may feel actually, they can carry on doing their day to day higher pain threshold, or able to work through that, where someone else who has a lower threshold might be impacted a lot earlier.

So it’s really identifying and looking at these subjective measures and seeing if actually, as clinicians, we can provide better guidance on how to look for better precursors, for individuals to identify what they should be looking for.

Nuraan Petersen: Leading up from this sort of change in our behaviour in, you know, in many cultures, we are told to look at the person we’re talking to, you know, quite often in movies, you’ll say that, you know, the person in authority will saying things like, look at me when I’m talking to you. And this resonates with with many of us, yet, when we on a zoom call, we quite often are told to look into the camera, which is this tiny dot. And I feel this goes like completely against my natural instinct to look at the person’s face. But I know that when I’m not actually looking at them any longer, you know, so it’s all shifting, do you think this could change how we interact with people in person?

Dhruvin Patel: Yeah, so this is a really interesting, interesting one. Because I think through the pandemic, what’s happened is people have become more aware of actually how important real life encounters are.

And what what I believe in the next 12 to 24 months is actually there’s going to be more of a blended way of working effectively, you know, flexible work and going into the office one or two days, and then working from home, but also the way we do zoom meetings, I think it’s going to be changing where we don’t need to actually be online face to face, although we’ll set some rules so people can avoid zoom fatigue, which is really the psychological phenomenon of, you know, looking at yourself, because what we tend to do is we look at yourself, and that’s not natural want to speak in real life.

We’re speaking to people, and it’s actually going to become more important. The way we interact with humans in real life. There’s going to be more of an emphasis because Because now you have to form a stronger connection with people in real life. Because effectively, real life interactions are now reduced, right? You know, if we’re talking about flexible way of working as well, we’re not in the office is five days a week, we’re going to be reduced to maybe two or three. So you have less of a time to make an impact on people. And, you know, work is all about real life connections, and what you talked about keep looking into people’s eyes, we’re gonna have to do that more.

So if we don’t already, you know, and that guidance is really important. So I think it’s going to be something more prevailing differently. When, when talking about looking at screen, you know, looking at screens and into the camera, I think that it’s very hard to do. Personally, I don’t look into the camera, it’s just yeah, it’s very, you know, I’d rather look at the screen and the person who I’m speaking to.

** Did you know that Zoom Fatigue impacts women more then it does men? Click the link below to know why and share your own experience with us in the comments!

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/13/us/zoom-fatigue-burn-out-gender.html*

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Power Dressing in the Zoom Era

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