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Blue Light; Misconceptions and Solutions

by Dawn Maxwell | | | 40 Comments



We’ll start this article off by stating that the blue light filter is not going to solve all of your optical problems. But before we get into that, let’s start at the basics:


What is Blue Light?


The blue light filter technology has been around for years, with many apps, computer programs and software already having the filter built in, allowing you to change or alter how you view your content. 


However with the rise of blue light filtering glasses, there is an overwhelming amount of misinformation that has been spread regarding the detrimental effects of blue light. 


There are usually 2 extremists when it comes to blue light; the one who doesn’t believe that it has any effects on their eyes and everything about it is a lie, or the one who thinks that blue light will be the cause of their untimely demise. Neither of these opinions are true.


Some forms of blue light, like light boxes, used to treat patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder can actually be beneficial. However, those are to be used at the discretion of your physician and only used in moderation. 


The most common form of blue light is the high energy visible light we get from our phones, laptops, and other electronic devices as well as some LED lights. This blue light is what can be potentially uncomfortable to your eyes, because most people spend all day on devices- at work, school, home- there is almost nowhere you can go to escape technology. 


From the Canadian Optometry Association:


“While these sources generate blue light at much lower intensity than the sun, we are exposing ourselves to them for longer periods of time and at much closer distances. This can cause eye strain because blue light scatters more in the eye and is not focused as easily as lower energy wavelength light.  This scatter creates “visual noise” that reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain.”


What this means:


Blue light is a topic that has not been studied extensively- however we can determine that prolonged exposure to devices at the very least can cause discomfort in the form of eye strain, dry eye and headaches. 


What do blue light filtering lenses do?


You can get blue light protection on any NEW lens in 3 different forms: as a coating, as a filter built into the lens material, or transition/photochromic lenses naturally protect against blue light too.


 There are 2 types of blue light blocking coatings:


1. The blue light is reflected off of the lens, so the lens appears to have a slightly blue reflection.
2. The blue light is absorbed by the lens, so the lens appears to have a slight yellow tint.


Both lenses are equally beneficial; it is purely an aesthetic choice for you to make. We have samples of both lenses in store so that you are able to view both options before ordering. 


The bottom line:


Blue light is not going to cause ocular damage, but it can also be uncomfortable on a day to day basis. Blue light blocking lenses are not going to fix all of your problems, but they are an added compliment to your lenses to help reduce digital eye strain and headaches caused by this. It is always recommended to take regular breaks from your computer- 20/20/20 is a rule you’ve probably heard before. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. 


What does this mean for me?


We are headed back into the fall and everyone is inevitably heading back to school and work- however this year, things are looking a little different. With social distancing measures in place due to COVID-19, most of us are working at home on a device all day long. To ease the transition as much as possible for you, we are offering an upgrade from any lens to include the blue light filter FREE of charge- for the entire month of September!


More questions about blue light? Contact us at 613-216-6076 or staff@eyemaxx.ca and we would be happy to give you personalized advice on whether blue light glasses are right for you!

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