What do these people have in common?
1. a 70-year-old grandmother who has undergone successful cataract surgery
2. a 13-year-old who loves to play video games and use his tablet
3. a 45-year-old manager who spends most of the day working on her computer
These patients are more susceptible to the effects of high energy visible light or blue light. In fact, all of us are exposed to potentially harmful blue light everyday. The most prevalent source of blue light (and of UV light) is of course the sun. But most common indoor sources of blue light come from CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), LED lights, and virtually all electronic devices with screens (such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and video games). Just as UV light causes damage to the eyes, so does blue light. Recently, blue light has been shown to cause significant eye damage because it penetrates all the way to the retina inside our eyes, putting us at higher risk of developing macular degeneration over time. Additionally, research has shown that blue light is affecting our circadian rhythm, disrupting sleep patterns and causing fatigue.
Today, there are lenses (such as the BluTech lenses and the Recharge Anti-reflective lenses) designed to offer protection against not only UV light but also blue light. Therefore, any patient who uses the computer for more than 2-3 hours daily should consider this technology. Patients who have had cataract surgery should also consider blue light protection, since they no longer have natural light-blocking lenses inside their eyes. In addition, patients who are already at risk for macular degeneration due to family history need to be on guard about the dangers of blue light exposure.
As your eyecare professionals, the doctors and staff at Envision Eyecare will continue to provide the best care based on new research and technology. This includes making sure all our patients how about the long-term hazards of blue light and offering solutions to protect the retina.