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Blue Light

According to recent studies, 60% of people spend as much as 6 hours a day in front of a digital device whether it is a computer, tablet, smartphone or other gadgets.

All of these devices emit blue light or high-energy visible (HEV) light, which is a known cause of computer vision syndrome, sleep disruptions and possibly other potential dangers to the eyes. Blue light radiation is also emitted from television screens, electronic devices. the fluorescent and LED lighting and yes, even the sun. It's a good idea to bring the topic up during your annual eye exam.

What is Blue Light?

Emitted from the sun, blue light is naturally occurring in the world around us. On the spectrum of visible light (light that humans can see), blue light has the highest energy and the shortest wavelength.

It is also sometimes known as blue-violet or violet light, which is where ultraviolet (UV) light rays that are just beyond our perception get their name. Much like ultraviolet light, blue light has both dangers and benefits to our health, particularly to our eyes.

This is what we expose our eyes to whenever we stare at the screen of our digital devices. Prolonged exposure strains your eyes, messes with your sleep cycle, and likely causes serious long-term damage.

What are the Potential Dangers of Blue Light?

Research is still being done to determine the long-term effects of blue light or high-energy visible (HEV) light emission, however, it is known is that blue light is a cause of computer vision syndrome (CVS) and sleep disruptions.

Digital Eye Strain

The high energy and shorter wavelengths of blue or HEV light emit a less consistent flow of light, creating glare or flickering that can cause eye strain. Because sharpness and visual contrast are affected by this, the eyes have to work harder to see clearly. After extended periods of time, this can result in headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and mental and physical fatigue.

Dry eyes, fatigue, bad lighting, and the way you sit in front of your computer can also contribute to eye strain. Typically, you will feel discomfort, soreness, and perhaps a blurred vision. At times, you may find it difficult to focus on.

 

Sleep Disruptions

Natural blue light in the atmosphere is known to help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (which controls your sleep cycles), to boost your mood and level of alertness and to improve memory and cognitive function.

However, prolonged exposure to artificial sources of blue light has been shown to reverse these positive effects, causing disruptions in the circadian rhythm which affects sleep, as well as an increased risk of depression. Studies show that using a digital device before bedtime can negatively impact the amount and quality of your sleep.

Macular Degeneration

Researchers at Harvard University have shown that over time, prolonged exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina at the back of your eye, which may lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and possibly other serious health and vision problems. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss and low vision.

Retina Damage

Recent studies have shown that overexposure of the eyes to blue light can damage the retinal cells. This may lead to vision issues such as age-related macular degeneration which eventually leads to permanent loss of vision.

Cancer

Research shows that overexposure to blue light reduces melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that affects our bodies circadian rhythms, which regulate sleep among other processes. Recent experimental evidence at Harvard University also indicates a correlation between lower levels of melatonin and the associated frequency of cancer.

Edmonton glasses for computer use prevent eyestrain

How Can You Protect Yourself from Blue Light Emissions?

As the dangers of blue light from digital devices emerge, more and more options are becoming available to protect your eyes. The eyes have very limited natural ability to block out blue light radiation so we need to be aware of blue light exposure and how to minimize it.

Computer glasses with blue-blocking lenses, coatings, and filters are a good solution for those working on a computer for long periods of time each day.

You can also add anti-glare coatings with blue light protection to your regular eyeglass and sunglass lenses. Additionally, there are filters available for devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, to reduce the amount of blue light radiation that can reach your eyes.

The easiest way to reduce blue light exposure is to take frequent breaks when working on a computer and to reduce screen time overall.

We provide our patients with sophisticated blue light blocking lenses that can shield your eyes from direct exposure to blue light.

ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect

The ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect lenses filter out wavelengths of blue-violet that are shorter than 440nm — the range of light which is considered by eye doctors to be the most dangerous.

By blocking only these very high energy wavelengths, the ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect coating protects your eyes from retinal cell damage, phototoxicity, and disruptions to your sleep cycle while allowing beneficial frequencies of blue light through. You will be protected with clear and true-color vision while still enjoying the benefits of blue light.

Shamir Blue Zero

Shamir uses a unique polymer formula to produce these high-tech lenses. The Shamir Blue Zero High Index 1.67 and Trivex lenses block up to 98% of high energy blue light in the 415-435 nm range. The Shamir Blue Zero Polycarbonate lenses block up to 50%. 

This allows you to enjoy significant protection from blue light while still enjoying crisp, clear, and true-color vision. On average, Shamir Blue Zero blocks about three times the amount of harmful blue light as compared to standard clear lenses.

Hoya BlueControl

These lenses from Hoya provides blue light protection along with excellent contrast and reduced glare for clear and comfortable viewing of digital devices in a way which reduces eye strain and improves color perception.

Get In Touch With Us Today!

For more information about how our innovative blue light blocking lenses can help you, get in touch with us today. Our optometrists and opticians will be happy to speak with you and recommend the lens which best suits your needs and lifestyle.

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