Step outside to enjoy the beautiful weather, we automatically think about putting sunglasses on. Of course we all know about the harmful effects that UV rays can have on our eyes and we are reminded when we feel the discomfort from glare that causes us to squint. Most of us aren't aware of another light spectrum that can also be harmful, blue light. Blue lights effects are not as easily noticed so often we don't realize that it is responsible for eyestrain, headaches and sleepless nights, or that it has even more serious effects on children.
FIRST, WHAT IS BLUE LIGHT?
Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves and emit energy. The waves range in length, the shorter the wave the stronger the energy. Every wavelength is represented by a different colour and together these wavelengths make up the electromagnetic spectrum. The human eye is sensitive to only part of this spectrum called visible light. Blue light is a colour in the "visible light spectrum" that can be seen by the human eye and it is a short wave length so it emits a great deal of energy.*
WHERE CAN YOU FIND BLUE LIGHT?
Blue light is everywhere – the sun is the source of natural blue light! Luckily, if you own quality sunglasses that filter blue light, you're covered from too much of a good thing. There are also many sources of artificial blue light indoors such as LED lighting, smart phones, tablets, computer screens, and even your friendly flat screen TV.
SO, WHY IS BLUE LIGHT SO BAD?
Actually, blue light isn't all bad! Sugar in its raw, natural form isn't bad for our health. In fact, we need a certain quantity it to stay active and alert. However, it's better to limit the amount of sugar we eat, and to avoid artificial sugar.
The same thing goes for blue light. Natural blue light from the sun is essential for good health. Prolonged exposure to blue light, especially from artificial sources, contributes to digital eyestrain, headaches, and could be a risk factor for macular degeneration.
Blue light is important in regulating our circadian rhythm — the body's natural wakefulness and sleep cycle. Too much exposure to artificial blue light in the hours before bedtime can disrupt this cycle, potentially causing sleeplessness, poor quality sleep and daytime fatigue. Sleep cycle disruption is also associated with a greater risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY EYES FROM BLUE LIGHT?
Many options are available. If you currently wear prescription eyewear, you can ask your optometrist about special blue light filter coatings. If you do not wear prescription glasses, or if you prefer to wear your contact lenses, there is an option for protecting your eyes - it's called TrueBlue.
WHAT IS TRUEBLUE?
TrueBlue are non-prescription glasses that help filter out the "bad" blue light! TrueBlue lens technology incorporates nature's own defences to filter blue light and has different lens types for daytime to avoid digital eyestrain, and evening to reduce blue light effects on your circadian rhythm. Children are more at risk from damaging blue light because their eye lens allows unfiltered light to reach their retina. This is why TrueBlue glasses are available in childrens frames so kids can wear them while using computers, tablets, watching TV & playing video games and you will rest better knowing they are protected.
CARP members receive exceptional benefits at IRIS:
- $150 towards any complete pair of prescription eyewear (frame and lenses valued at $250 or more) or prescription sunglasses
- $50 towards the purchase of an annual supply of contact lenses
- $50 towards non-prescription sunglasses valued at $100 or more
- $500 towards vision correction procedures at our ophthalmology clinic in Laval, Quebec
- $25 towards the purchase of 3 or more bottles of Eye Omega Benefits 240 Gel Caps
Register with CARP and receive your IRIS Benefits. Visit www.carp.ca.
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