For years, eye doctors have warned patients about the danger of ultra-violet (UV)
light. Sunglasses with UV light filters have been the recommendation for patients
that spend time in the sun. We know that light is electro magnetic radiation and
that UV light is the high energy, short wave length part of the spectrum that
damages human tissue. The most common piece of evidence for this is the simple
sunburn of the skin that can occur with even short exposure to unfiltered sun light.
We now know that visible blue light, also high energy, short wave length light in the
visible spectrum, can also cause changes to human tissue, especially the sensitive
tissue of the retina. Blue light has lower energy that UV but there is considerably
more exposure to this today with computer screens, large TV screens, I-phones
and digital reading devices. According to the American Optometric Association’s
recent American Eye-Q survey, 62% of respondents spend 5 or more hours per day
on digital devices that emit high-energy blue light.
Damage to the eyes and visual system range from simple eye strain and sleep
disorders, to eye pathology like dry eye syndrome and cataracts, with the worse case
of permanent vision loss from macular degeneration.
There are a number of solutions to the problems related to blue light exposure.
Perhaps the simplest and most cost effective is to obtain glasses with an optical
filter to reduce or eliminate blue light. There is a wide range of options from
coatings that reflect blue light to chemicals in the lens to absorb blue light. Ask you
doctor here are Edmonds Eye Associates to discuss this protection at your next eye
examination. Our optical staff will also be happy to demonstrate these new lens
You may wonder if you are at risk for this problem. The high risk population are
those people who spend much of their day on a computer, smart phone or use a digital back-lit
reader like a Kindle or Nook, also those that watch a large screen television, and people
who have had cataract surgery with in intra-ocular implant (IOL).
If you or your family are in one of these risk groups, be sure to learn more about
new options for protection so that you can enjoy a lifetime of good vision.
-written by: Scott Edmonds