Blue Light & Your Eyes
Today, in our day-to-day lives, we are exposed to increasing amounts of blue light or high-energy visible light. Our eyes can see light in the visible spectrum of 400nm to700nm. The shorter the wavelength of the light, the more energy the light carries. The most significant source of blue light exposure is from sunlight. However, indoor exposure to blue light has increased significantly with increased use of digital devices and LED and fluorescent lighting, which have high levels of blue light emissions.
The structures of the front of our eyes — the cornea and crystalline lens — do not block significant amounts of blue light from passing through them and back to the retina. This means that our retinas are chronically exposed to this blue light. Exposure is cumulative over the span of our life. Early studies have shown that the wavelengths of blue light between 415 and 455nm1 cause cell death of the retinal pigmented epithelium. More research needs to be done, but it is suggested that such damage may possibly increase the risk of certain retinal diseases such as AMD.
In addition, blue light has been shown to be a contributing factor to digital eyestrain. The lower wavelengths of visible light are more prone to a type of scatter called chromatic aberration, which causes our eyes to have to focus more to see clearly. When viewing screens with higher amounts of blue light emissions, patients commonly experience symptoms of strain, fatigue and headaches.
There are multiple options available now to address the concerns with blue light exposure. For example, in their darkened state, TransitionsTM lenses block 100 per cent of the harmful wavelengths of blue light. Many other sunglasses lens options in both prescription and non-prescription also offer this protection. These options help protect your eyes from exposure to blue light from sunlight outdoors.
We also have options for indoor light blue light protection. Crizal PrevenciaTM is one option; its anti-reflective coating offers a 20 per cent reduction in blue light exposure by reflecting it away from the front surface of the lens. Smart Blue FilterTM is another option; it is built into the actual lens material and absorbs 20 per cent of the blue light. These can be combined to offer a total of 35 per cent reduction in the amount of blue light reaching your eyes.
When purchasing your next set of eyewear, educate yourself on blue light and protect your eyes. We are accepting new patients. To book an appointment, call us or visit our website. If you are looking for new eyewear, visit our office to learn more about blue light protection.
Dr. Myles Bokinac, owner/optometrist
Advance Eye Care Center
3617B Pasqua St, Regina