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Blue Light.  You’ve heard the term, but maybe didn’t really think too much about it.  You’ve heard rumors of digital devices being bad for your eyes but thought it’s probably not happening to me. Well, if your one of millions of people who spend numerous hours in front of the computer, tablet, tv, phone (yes, your phone) or some sort of digital screen your probably causing damage to your eyes without even knowing it.  Or maybe you’re just now figuring out what could be causing that dry, blurry and tired feeling.  It could be something called Digital Eye Strain.  Simply put, digital eye strain is a symptom caused by staring at digital devices for too long. I get it, how can we possibly go throughout our day without constantly looking at something with a digital screen.  Well, luckily there are ways to curb some of the effects caused by blue light.

At this point, we do not know the long-term harm over-exposure to blue light may have in your eyes.  But, let’s ask the question again. What is blue light? Basically, it is a form of visible UV that we find in white LED lights, fluorescent lights and of course a wide range of digital devices.  It is also found in the sun; however, this form of UV is not visible.  Blue light is believed to cause damage to the cells of our retina leading to macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual fatigue. We have become accustomed to wearing sunscreen to protect our skin, and the same type of rationale should be applied to protecting our eyes as well.  So, think of putting blue light filter protection in your lenses as a form of sunscreen for the eyes.

You may be experiencing some of the symptoms associated with blue light such as eye strain, eye fatigue, and headaches, all of these symptoms will improve with the use of blue light lenses. This along with making some modifications to the use of these devices will greatly reduce the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed too.  The lenses work by filtering the harmful blue light from entering your eyes and helps to reflect it off, greatly reducing exposure.  There are many options of blue light lenses, but at Lakes Family Eye Care we recommend lenses that allow some form of blue light that is not harmful to the eyes. Not all blue light is bad, some is important for color perception and your typical sleep cycle.  We recommend this coating on any child and adult who spends more than 4 hours in front of a computer, tv, tablet or phone (yes, I said phone again).  Your lenses will not only have the anti-glare, but it will also offer the protection from harmful blue light.  It goes without saying that it is important to take care of our eyes. And as we continue to see more and more digital devices coming to market the importance of blue light filtering has never been greater. We are just now starting to see the effects blue light has on the eyes and only the future will tell us the long-term effects of blue light exposure.

–Dr. B recommends this quick and easy exercise. It’s called the 20-20-20 Rule.  Simply put, every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  This reduces the stress on your eyes and helps to fight off some of the negative effects of blue light.