Blue Light Exposed

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For many of us, an average day begins with the alarm clock ringing (followed by a snooze or two), then it’s time to reach for our smart phone and check the news, our email, and messages. While we might be well informed on the happenings of the world before we’ve gotten out of bed, we have already begun exposing our eyes to high energy visible light, some of which is harmful. As our day continues, many of us are surrounded by LED light. This can be in the form of LED bulbs in light fixtures, or an LED screen like our television, computer, tablet, and smart phone. While we are the first to admit how much we love that at any given time we can FaceTime with our family on the other side of the country, this extended screen time is having an unfortunate effect on our health.

How It Effects Us

After looking at your computer screen for a while you might start to notice your eyes getting dry and tired, or your vision getting blurry. You may even feel a headache coming on. These temporary discomforts known as digital eyestrain are frustrating, but are usually alleviated by taking a break from the screen and giving the eyes a rest. Unfortunately, for those of us who spend a large amount of time in front of LED screens, we may be causing lasting damage to our eyes that can even result in macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in Canada.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light rays are a form of visible light that are short in wavelength and high in energy on the visible light spectrum. This type of light penetrates all the way to the back of the eye, and can become the culprit for much of our eye strain, headaches, and even blue moods! It can also be highly disruptive to our circadian rhythm, our natural sleep/wake cycle and can be be the reason we find ourselves counting sheep after sheep trying to fall asleep.

Don’t Throw Out Your Electronics Yet!

For the majority of us, there is little to no option to eliminate all screen time from our lives.There are other strategies we can use, like trying to lessen the amount of time spent in front of screens to help alleviate eyestrain. We can also employ the 20-20-20 rule and give our eyes a break every twenty minutes by staring at something twenty feet away for twenty seconds. The truth is, we are inevitably going to come into contact with blue light on a daily basis and some days it’s impossible to avoid long hours in front of a screen.

The Solution

Fortunately, when taking a break from screens isn’t an option, an alternative is available. The best method for limiting our exposure to these harmful rays is to wear lenses with a special coating to filter out damaging blue light. When applied to your lenses, this coating increases your comfort when viewing LED screens and can lessen the total amount of blue light rays that reach your eyes.

Take a proactive approach to your eye health and visit a local IRIS store to inquire about applying a blue light coating on your new glasses. It is a simple and effective way we can maintain our digital lifestyle while ensuring the best long term care for our eyes.

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