The Dark Side of Blue Light Exposure

A Digital World

Year after year, Canada continues to be one of the most wired countries in the world. According to recent studies, Canadians spend approximately 43.5 hours online every month, and 30 hours per week are spent watching television. That’s 522 hours surfing the web, and 1560 hours on the tube, each and every year!

While the numbers may seem staggering, it does make sense. Think about the first things that you do in the morning. You catch up on your emails, or make breakfast and turn on the television to watch the morning news. Maybe you head to work, and spend the majority of your day using one of many digital services that are available in today’s increasingly technological society, or check your social media accounts on your breaks.

But what if we told you that these electronic devices are emitting a dangerous blue light, which is negatively impacting not only your vision, but also your overall health? It’s true, and it’s a major concern for eye doctors across the country.

Don’t get us wrong: We love technology, and fully embrace its benefits. We love to tweet, post, blog, hashtag, share, and catch the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory, as much as any other Canadian. But as much as we encourage our clients to protect their eyes from the sun, we also advise them to take protective measures for their eyes when using digital devices – especially over extended periods of time.

Social Media (Blue Light)

How often do you check up on your social media accounts each day?

The Down Low on Blue Light Exposure

So what is blue light exposure exactly? Well, it’s just as it sounds. It’s a type of light that gives off a blue color. This form of light is particularly dangerous, because it’s the highest energy wavelength of visible light. This energy is able to dazzle our senses, but also penetrate all the way to the back of our eyes, through its natural filters – and that can lead to problems.

Benefits of Blue Light:

  • Helps regulate our circadian rhythm, the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle.
  • Boosts alertness.
  • Helps in memory and cognitive function.
  • Elevates mood and can increase our sense of wellbeing.

Dangers of Blue Light:

  • Digital eyestrain syndrome; dry and irritated eyes, blurry vision, headaches and neck pain.
  • Increase our risk of depression.
  • May cause permanent eye damage.
  • Greater our risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
  • Cause interruptions to the circadian rhythm – particularly when looking at our phones or computer screens right before bed.

While blue light isn’t necessarily a bad thing, our eyes natural filters do not provide sufficient protection against blue light rays from the sun, let alone the blue light radiating from our technological devices, for countless hours each day. Prolonged exposure to blue light may cause retinal damage, and contribute to age-related macular degeneration, with can ultimately lead to loss of vision.

Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light Exposure

The use of protective eyewear can play an important role in shielding your eyes against the negative effects of blue light. Protective ophthalmic lenses with a special coating designed to reflect and cut high-energy blue light penetration, are a great option to reduce the adverse effects of excessive blue light exposure. Such a coating cuts the harmful portions of blue light, while allowing the good portions of blue light to pass through. By reducing the amounts of blue light entering our eyes, symptoms of eyestrain from prolonged digital exposure are reduced.

Chemistrie Blue Lenses

Chemistrie Blue: Removable magnetic blue light lenses to protect your eyes against exposure.

If you are a heavy user of electronic devices or you spend plenty of time enjoying the outdoors, ask us about a blue light filtering coating on your clear glasses or sunglasses. Magnetic attachment frames with a blue light filter are another option offered at Eyeland Framemakers. These removable custom fit lenses, designed by Chemistrie, are designed to ease discomfort by reducing the strain on your eyes, while helping to keep them healthy! For more information, take a peak at their website to learn more about its benefits.

And not to worry, these aren’t the old bright orange, blue-blocker eyewear from the nineties – so your fashion will not be affected! Such lenses can have little-to-no tint, and can be very effective in reducing your exposure throughout the day.

Tell us: How long do you spend in front of a screen everyday? Do you feel the effects of blue light exposure?

 

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