Where does blue light come from?
Blue light is a type of visible light. It is found in natural sunlight. Prior to the introduction of newer electronic devices, it was not used in man-made light sources. Now, blue light sources include electronic devices such as cell phones and computers, as well as energy efficient fluorescent and LED lights.
Is blue light harmful?Read More
Some blue light is helpful. It helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, which helps us go to sleep and stay asleep. There are some risks with blue light exposure though. Studies have shown that there is a 40 nm wavelength of blue-violet light that causes maximum retinal cell death.
Blue light can pass through the lens in our eye to the back of the eye called the retina and increase the likelihood of development of age-related macular degeneration. The level of light emitted by newer energy-saving lighting techniques is very high, underscoring the importance of protecting our eyes from these lights as their presence continues to increase.
What can we do to help reduce our exposure to blue light?
Reducing exposure to blue light emitting devices is one way to protect the eyes but many people use computers at work and then continue on their personal devices at home. Fortunately, there are lenses available to help filter out harmful blue light. They can be made in most glasses prescriptions. This will help protect your eyes. Some of these lenses have a subtle splash of yellow or champagne appearance to them. Shutting off your electronic devices in the evening hours may improve your ability to sleep as well.
What about outdoors?
The special blue light blocking lenses may be most helpful and practical indoors, but sometimes sunlight may be a bit bright. Many people are aware that sunlight can cause damage and optometrists often recommend wearing sunglasses for UV protection. There are options available to block UV and blue light. Polarized lenses can be very helpful to cut glare especially when outdoors or driving toward the sun.
How will I know if there is damage to my eyes or if I am at risk?
Blue light affects vision over many years of exposure so you are unlikely to feel or see any symptoms or change to your eyes until the later decades of life. The best way to find out if you’ve had retinal damage is to come in for a comprehensive eye exam. Optometrists have special equipment that allow them to assess changes to the eye. Then your optometrist and opticians can suggest the best lens option for you and your lifestyle.
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