Looking To The Future
Stepping into sunlight, flicking on a light, turning on your computer, phone or other digital device, all these things cause your eyes to be exposed to visible, and invisible, light rays.
Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green and blue light rays. Light moves as waves of different lengths: some are short with more energy, making bluer light, and some are long, with less energy, making redder light. As sunlight reaches our atmosphere, molecules in the air scatter the bluer light but let the red light pass through. We see the sky as blue because the shorter, smaller waves of blue light are scattered more than other colours.
Approximately one-third of all visible light is high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light.
What Is Blue Light?
Sunlight is the main source of blue light and being outdoors during daylight is where most of us are exposed to it. However, blue light is also emitted from electronic devices such as flat-screen televisions, monitors, laptops, tablets and smartphones as well as LED and fluorescent globes.
As blue light is emitted from the sun, we have evolved to align our sleep/wake cycles, circadian rhythms, to the stimulus from it. Exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps maintain healthy rhythms; too much blue light late at night from tablets, computers or phones can disrupt this cycle, potentially causing sleepless nights and daytime fatigue.
The amount of HEV light our electronic devices emit is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. But our daily lives are increasingly dominated by digital equipment. The amount of time people spend in front of these devices and the proximity of these screens to our eyes has optometrists concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health and the increased risk of macular degeneration.
The Effects of Blue Light Exposure
The cornea and lens in the human eye are very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball. However, virtually all visible blue light reaches the retina. Some blue light exposure is essential for good health, but too much exposure can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina causing macular degeneration and permanent vision loss.
Blue light also contributes to digital eye strain. Because short-wavelength, high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused. When you’re looking at computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual “noise” reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain and red irritated eyes, eye fatigue, headaches or blurry vision.
How Can You Protect Your Vision Against Blue Light Exposure?
Protective computer glasses and blue light filters can shield your eyes against the effects of blue light.
What Are Blue Control Lenses?
Blue control is a filter built into optical lenses to neutralise the blue light emitted by LCD and LED screens, digital devices, fluorescent and LED lights. The filter helps prevent eye fatigue and eye strain. If you spend a lot of time in front of digital devices, blue control lenses, or computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses, provide more comfortable vision and better contrast perception.
Computer glasses are available without a prescription, or they can be prescribed to suit your visual needs.
Our eye specialists can recommend lenses and filters that protect your eyes from blue light. Ask the opticians at John O’Connor Optometrist about blue control lenses. They are scratch resistant, water-, grease- and dirt repellent, and the Hoya BlueControl coating neutralises the high energy visible light emitted by LCD and LED screens. The coatings filter the harmful portion of blue light while allowing the good portion of blue light to pass through. The reduction in screen brightness improves contrasts, flickering and eye fatigue are reduced, vision is strain-free and eyes are protected.
The Benefits of Blue Control Lenses
- Neutralise blue light, preventing eye strain and fatigue
- Reduce glare for a more comfortable and relaxed vision
- Reduce dry eyes, sticky eyes, and the feeling of grittiness or “sand” in the eye
- Enhance contrast perception offering a more natural colour experience
- Protect your lenses against water, dirt, grease and dust, keeping them clean for longer.
Ask us about the benefits of blue control lenses and if they are right for you. We can offer blue control lenses for most prescriptions and the lenses can be fitted to most frames. We can work out which lens best suits your needs and best protects your eyes from blue light. If you would like to know more about Blue Control and where to buy computer glasses, call our Newmarket Optometrists on 09 522 1283 or Henderson Optometrists on 09 836 1731 or send us an email enquiry via our contact page. We’d be happy to discuss all options with you.