While we all love the connectivity and entertainment that our digital devices provide, a lot of us are starting to wonder what this increase in screen time means to our eye health. Many of us are starting to think about how best to protect our eyes from the artificial blue high-energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted from not only our devices but also television screens, computers, and artificial (i.e. fluorescent) lighting.
Licensed Optician, Stefan Mayer, walks us through some of the common questions around digital protection, and how blue light blocking glasses provide three times more protection against Harmful Blue Light (HBL) than a standard glasses with clear lenses.
Why choose blue light protection?
Digital protection lenses, such as BlueReflect Lens, helps reduce exposure to Harmful Blue Light emitted from digital devices. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum and is emitted by the sun and artificial light sources such as LEDs, computers, and smart phones. Some types of blue light can be beneficial and help regulate our bodies’ internal biological clocks. However, blue-violet light, or Harmful Blue Light, can have a negative impact on the eyes, specifically the retina. Along with age, genetics, diet, lifestyle, and occupation, this type of blue light is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration, a deterioration of the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision.
The problem with artificial light is that most of us are now continuously looking at our digital technologies. Computers, phones, games, and tablets all require that we look at high-energy visible artificial blue light. Fluorescent lighting and UV rays also contain blue light, which adds to eye damage and strain. This can potentially cause headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and eye strain.
BlueReflect lenses offer a protective shield that reduces glare and blue light from digital screens and artificial lights that can lead to digital eye strain.
How do computer glasses work?
Blue light is the lower end of the visible spectrum and covers wavelengths from 380-500 nm. However not all blue light is damaging. Digital Screens emit electromagnetic radiation in a broad range of frequencies. Recent studies have linked damaging blue light prevalent in sunlight and many modern technologies, e.g. LED backlighting used in many LCD displays, fluorescent lighting, and the increasingly popular LED lighting of domestic and commercial premises and display cases. Blue light also has healthy rays.
The aim is to filter out the damaging blue light rays. BlueReflect Lenses specifically targets the Harmful Blue Light (415 – 455 nm) prevalent many modern technologies, e.g. LED backlighting used in many LCD displays, fluorescent lighting, and the increasingly popular LED lighting of domestic and commercial premises and display cases. These digital protection lenses both reflect and filter Harmful Blue Light while letting beneficial blue light pass through, which is a step beyond traditional yellow hued computer lenses that only filter this light.
How does this affect our eye health?
The Vision Council reports that 61% of adults experience digital eye strain due to the prolonged use of electronic devices.
After extended use, our vision can be affected by eyestrain, blurry vision, dry and irritated eyes, and headaches. Studies have suggested there are greater risks to certain types of cancers, diabetes, heart disease macular degeneration & premature cataracts.
Remember, if you’re experiencing symptoms a comprehensive eye exam with your Eye Care Professional will help to ensure that you don’t have any underlining eye health issues (and is something that we should all being doing about once a year!).
How can I prevent eye strain caused by blue light?
One way is to get digital protection with your glasses. This will protect you from the more permanent damage of blue light as well as fatigue by digital devices.
Give your eyes a rest as well. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Keep in mind that this will help eye fatigue when you’re in front digital device to some degree but will not protect you from the harmful long term effects of blue light that digital protection lenses can.
Importantly, ensure that children are getting regular eye examinations and taking breaks from digital technologies. Harmful Blue Light also disturbs sleeping patterns. Avoid allowing children to use digital technology for the 2 hours before bedtime. When they are enjoying screen time, kid’s frames can also be outfitted with BlueRelect lenses for added protection.
Do I need to have prescription to use digital protection lens technology?
No, the great thing about this technology is that everyone has access to digital protection lenses (sometimes referred to as ‘computer glasses’ – not to be confused with a computer distance prescription). This shouldn’t be confused with needing an eye exam, which as adults we should all be doing with a licensed Eye Care Professional about once a year – or as per their recommendation.
Eyewear is a fantastic accessory, and all you need to do is select a Plano (o.oo prescription) lens with BlueReflect Lenses. You can also pair these glasses while your wearing contact lenses.
If you do require a corrective power please make sure that you do have a valid prescription provided by your Eye Care Professional.
Are digital protection lenses available with progressive prescriptions?
KODAK BlueReflect Lens offers digital progressive lenses in a durable polycarbonate and an advanced thin option. These ‘no line’ digital progressives allow greater prescription accuracy for those requiring the combination of far (television, driving), near (reading) and intermediate (such as smartphones, tablets, and computer use) distances.
This technology is beneficial to the more than 60% of GenXers who report symptoms of digital eyestrain, and 1 in 4 Boomers spend at least 9 hours a day on their digital devices. In addition, Boomers watch more television on a daily basis than any other age group (stats courtesy of the Vision Council).
Are coatings included with digital protection lenses?
BlueReflect lenses have 100% UV protection, are scratch resistant and water repellent, and have an anti-reflective coating that is easy to clean. They can be worn in and outside for everyday use with the added benefit of digital protection when required.
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