Q/A ON BLUE LIGHT FILTERING LENSES
I don’t need prescription eyeglasses, but spend most of the day on the computer and my smart phone and I-pad. My eyes get to aching by the end of the day. What can I do? You are suffering from digital eye fatigue. It is quite common these days because of all the time we spend on these devices. The largest shift in humankind’s history on our visual environment has occurred. 90% of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours per day. 60% use then for five or more hours and 65 percent experience symptoms of digital eye strain. A recent report states that by the time the average American child reaches age 17, they will have spent over a third of their lives looking at digital devices which expose us to unnatural amounts of blue light. It is well known that blue light in certain wavelengths has a detrimental effect on visual function. There are blue light-attenuating lens products on the market now that diminish the effects of blue light from artificial light sources to improve visual comfort. These lenses are available both for prescription and non-prescription wearers. The goal is not to block blue light, but to filter the damaging wavelengths and allow the rest to pass through the lens My husband spends a lot of time on the computer in the evening and sometimes works on his laptop in bed. Could that be causing his problem sleeping? Circadian rhythm can be thought of as our body’s way of regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Historically, human exposure to blue light at night was relatively low. Daytime exposure to blue light would trigger our internal clock to be alert and awake. As evening would fall, lack of blue light was our signal to sleep. However, with advancement in technology, our evening exposure to blue light is at levels never before experienced by mankind. The electronic screen on our smartphones, tablets, computers, as well as LED and CFL light bulbs, all emit light which affects our sleep-wake cycle. It is generally advised to turn these devices off a couple of hours before bedtime to allow our internal clock to do it’s job. Next month I will talk about children’s eyes and their exposure on these devices.