Stave off the blues: Specially designed lenses can filter potentially harmful blue light

Blue Light

Are digital screens keeping you up at night leaving you sluggish the next day? Sounds like it could be time to ask your eye doctor about options to keep the blues at bay.

With the average person spending 7.4 hours per day using digital devices, blue light has become a real threat to our health.1

By day, natural blue light helps our bodies remain attentive and in good spirits by suppressing the secretion of melatonin and keeping it in check. As day turns to night, our melatonin levels rise and prepare us for sleep. Today, with increased exposure to artificial lighting and digital screens, artificial blue light disrupts our natural sleep patterns.

Without getting too scientific, blue light rays are part of the natural visible light spectrum. They can be found naturally in the sun but also in energy-saving fluorescent light-bulbs and digital devices like computers, tablets and smartphones.

Research has proven that prolonged exposure to blue light emitted from digital screens can lead to digital eye strain, exacerbate the early on-set of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and compromise our general health and well-being.2

Filter it out

What can we do to protect our baby blues and ensure a good night’s sleep?

The good news is that protecting our peepers has never been easier. With advanced filtering technology now available in lenses, you can rest assured your eyes will be protected.

Blue light protection can be applied to the lenses in your glasses in 2 ways. It can either be added to the lens material itself, or it can be added to a lens as a finishing coat. While both options are helpful, some studies indicate that adding blue-light protection directly into the lens material may be more effective. In fact, one study showed that Featherwates Blue IQ lenses offered by LensCrafters filter up to 5 times more blue light than blue light filtering coating brands.

Joe Wende, sr. medical director at EyeMed Vision Care, suggests, “While we don’t yet understand the full impact of artificial blue light, there’s a lot of evidence indicating that it’s better to play it safe and wear blue light filtering lenses than take a risk and be sorry later.”

You should also know that, according to the American Optometric Association, a tinted lens is required to reduce retinal exposure to visible light.4 The AOA states that a yellow, amber, orange or red lens is required to protect the retina more fully from blue light. If you notice a warmer, tonal tinge in the lens, this means blue light lenses are getting the job done.

No matter what solution you and your doctor decide is right for you, choose a solution that filters harmful light off the screen, doesn’t distort color and preferably includes polycarbonate lenses, especially for kids.

Protect those baby blues

We know that blue light is part of your everyday life, so EyeMed vision benefits now offer blue light filtering technology options in your next pair of prescription glasses.

This means your eyes can stay protected for as little as $15*. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Talk to your eye doctor about what’s best for you. However you choose to protect your eyes from the harmful effect of blue light, EyeMed providers are committed to keeping your eyes healthy and safe so you see life to the fullest.

*In addition to the cost of any applicable material up-charge based on your frame and lens selection.

 


  1. American Time Use Survey Summary, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  United States Department of Labor.  June 24, 2016.  http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm
  2. Blue Light has a dark side,” Harvard Health Letter, May 1, 2012, http://ww.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
  3. LensCrafters internal lens review, 2016.
  4. “Light and Eye Damage,” by Gregory W. Good, O.D., Ph.D., American Optometric Association, December 2014.

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