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A hot topic in the eye care industry is what to do to minimize the potential damaging blue light rays we all come in contact with daily? People may benefit from filtering specific frequencies of blue light. Minimizing the potential blue light damage should be addressed by all health care providers.
The high energy visible spectrum (HEV) or blue light is a topic that is being studied and lectured about extensively. Blue light is the wave length between 390-500 nm and is emitted by the sun, computers, smart phones, television, tablets, and most types of lighting. The indoor man-made blue -violet light in the range 400-450 and is being linked to many eye and general health problems.
However, blue light isn’t all bad and does have some beneficial effects. The blue light that comes from the sun has positive biological effects on the human body. Exposure to blue light from the sun regulates our internal biological clock and maintains a normal circadian rhythm allowing us so get a good night sleep. Blue light exposure during the day keeps our brain functioning well, keeps us alert, and helps maintain psychologically well-being.
When the sun sets, the human body is supposed to wind down, relax, and get a good night’s sleep. In today’s society, this isn’t happening do to the prolonged exposure in the evening to various devices that emit blue light. We are using digital devices like smart phones, computers, tablets and even television that are emitting the potentially harmful blue -violet light rays . These frequencies of blue light may negatively impact our visual system , sleep patterns and general health. Here is a recent Harvard publication discusisng the potential harm of blue light in more detail : http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
Blue Light Damage to the eye is becoming more and more prevalent since the majority of us are using digital devices in our daily routines. Studies indicate that blue light may increase our risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Prolonged exposure of blue light from work on computers, smart phones and tablets increases eye strain, fatigue and dry eye symptomatology. One of the main culprits for computer vision syndrome (CVS) is prolonged use of a computer that emitts frequencies fo blue light. Gamers and students are notorious for having very poor sleep habits and excessive eye strain .
Many lens companies are now selling blue light protection lenses that filter this blue light. All blue filtering lenses are not the same. Some lenses have certain tints that are used to absorb some of this blue light. These lenses can be yellow, orange, or purple in color. Some companies are using a coating to absorb the blue light and some are actually putting this filtering technology into the lens monomer so it is throughout the entire lens. Many lens companies are filtering only a small percent of the harmful blue light and some are filtering close to 100% of specific frequencies of the blue-violet light.
Recommendations for specific characteristics when shopping for blue lens filtering technology:
- A lens that is as close to clear as possible, lenses that have a tint can block some of the transmission of light and decrease night vision, tinted lenses can also be cosmetically unappealing
- Make sure the blue filtering properties are in the actual lens material (monomer) and not a coating that can flake off and scratch
- Ask what percent of blue light and what wave lengths are actually being filtered
- Check the lens for your self with a blue laser, a good blue filtering lens will block the majority of a blue laser from going thru the lens , this a simple test that will rule out many choices.
If your lens meets these 4 criteria, you will minimize the blue light damage to your eyes and entire body.
Blue Light Defense lenses are new generation lenses that will qualify for all 4 of the characteristics from above are: All of these lenses come in a variety of materials and designs. This is brand new technology that is just starting to emerge in the eye care centers throughout the country and becoming mainstream .
Studies are conclusive that we need to filter blue light especially in the evening when working on computers, tablets, smart phones or watching TV. The latest research has been directed at filtering the majority of the blue/violet light between 400-420 nm. This research also suggests that around 411 nm is one of the worse frequencies of blue/violet light for the retina. http://www.bluelightdefense.com/publications/importance-of-blocking-shorter-wavelength-light-up-to-420nm-for-long-term-eye-health-study-by-prof-funk Blue Light Defense blocks over 99% of the waves between 400-420nm and then blocks a good portion up to 450nm. Take control of you and your families future health by investing in these new blue light defense lenses.