Blue light glasses
With the increasing amounts of screen time in today's working (and schooling) environment, more questions are being asked of the health effects of this type of environment.
When it comes to the eyes, the primary effect is the increased exposure to high-energy, blue-purple wavelength lights from digital devices and LED lights.
What exactly is blue light?
In a nutshell, light is made up of waves - and the photoreceptors (i.e. sensors) in the eyes merely perceive these waves and create an image based on these waves. The different colours seen by our eyes are just waves of different wavelengths.
This extends beyond infrared and ultraviolet, but within just the visible spectrum it goes from red (long wavelengths, lower energy) to blue-violet (short wavelengths, higher energy).
Why is blue light harmful for our eyes?
There are two aspects as to why one would like to block out blue light from reaching the eyes.
The very first is to do with the sleep cycle (circadian rhythm) of human beings. Naturally, the human body is programmed to be awake when the sun is up, and to sleep at night time. The body naturally regulates that with a hormone called melatonin.
The presence of blue light suppresses the natural production of this hormone, which negatively impacts your ability to 'wind down' and go to sleep.
The impact of poor sleep (either too little or poor quality) can then subsequently have negative accumulative effect on your general health.
Some research have suggested that prolonged exposure to higher-energy wavelength of light may over long periods time cause damage to the macula. Other research also associated increased exposure to lights at night with heart disease and diabetes. Although these should be viewed a bit more sceptically as the evidence is somewhat inconclusive - and associations do not necessarily mean causation.
What can we do to prevent the effects of blue light?
There are several methods in reducing your (night time) blue light exposure.
1) Do not use any digital screens at least 2-3 hours before bed time
2) Use programs or apps (some in-built) that skews your screen to a warmer colour and removes part of the blue spectrum.
3) Having a blue-light blocking coating on spectacle lenses.
Short of completely abstaining from the use of screens, the blue-blocking coating on glasses provides the most natural viewing experience, while still enabling you to carry on your desired lifestyle.
Will blue-light blocking glasses stop my eyes from being tired?
If you are experiencing tired eyes, it could be a variety of factors. Blue light is one part of it, but there are several other more common causes that may give tired eyes.
Examples include any fundamental misalignments in your visual system, focusing impairments of the eye muscles, as well as eye health problems.
The lens design and the correction of any underlying prescriptions can often be more effective than blocking blue light alone.
Here at Westgate Optometrists, we discuss with you your lifestyle and working environment so we can understand your particular situation, in order to provide better advice.
We also happen to provide blue-light lenses from world-leading lens manufacturers so you can rest assured that whatever we recommend it will be to best address the symptoms you are noticing.
Book in today, mention this article and if you do indeed require new glasses we will give you a free upgrade* of your lenses from regular anti-reflection coatings!
* Free upgrade offer only valid on purchases of complete frame & lens