Do you suffer from fatigue, dry eyes or headaches? Are your eyes red, itchy or scratchy? This may be one of the effects of overexposure to screens and the blue light that comes from them. VU, your optician specializing in eye disorders and dryness in Montreal, will explain how anti-blue light lenses work and how they can help you.
What is blue light, and what are its effects on health?
In this highly digital and connected era, we are constantly exposed to screens and the blue light they emit. Blue light is a color of the visible light spectrum that can be perceived by the human eye. We can distinguish two frequencies of this blue light:
- blue-violet light emitted by most screens;
- blue-turquoise light, which is essential to health because it regulates the circadian rhythm (natural cycle of wakefulness and sleep). It is less intense than blue-violet light, but can damage the eyes in the long term.
It has been shown that blue light can interfere with falling asleep and disrupt sleep cycles. Indeed, it reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone involved in the synchronization of the sleep/wake cycle and the regulation of our biological rhythms. This is why we always advise to stop using screens at least 3 hours before going to sleep. However, this is by no means a common practice.
In addition, several studies link intense exposure to blue light to the long-term development of certain ocular pathologies such as visual fatigue, dry eyes, retinal and lens damage, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Fortunately, blue light does not only have negative consequences. For example, it increases the level of alertness, attention span, concentration and memorization. In short, a little blue light used at the right time does not hurt! However, reading in the dark on your cell phone or tablet may keep you awake until late at night.
How do anti blue light glasses work?
The effects of blue light can cause some damage in the long term. Rest assured, solutions exist, and wearing anti-blue light glasses is one of them! These glasses have the particularity of blocking the reflection of the blue-violet light of the light spectrum, and of preventing it from penetrating the eye.
On the contrary, conventional transparent lenses allow the entire light spectrum to pass through, without filtering blue-violet light. This light can therefore penetrate the eye and cause the problems mentioned above.
Although this type of lens can slow down the ocular damage linked to blue light, they are not the ultimate solution. In fact, they only block about 20% of problematic wavelengths, which is not enough to effectively protect the eye.
What are the different types of blue light lenses offered by VU?
At VU, your optician in Montreal, we care about your health. That’s why we know about the problem of blue light. Since 1988, we have been using Nikon lenses for our eyewear, especially for our blue-light resistant lenses. The quality of their materials, the precision of their manufacturing and their advanced design make them the best allies for your vision.
We offer 3 types of blue light treated lenses:
- SeeCoat™Next Blue: effective blue light protection with superior clarity and durability for everyday use;
- Pure Blue UV: lenses that offer all-in-one protection against harmful light from indoors and outdoors. All with improved aesthetics and lasting clarity;
- Pure Blue UV Pro: the ultimate combination of UV and blue light protection. A lens that protects you from the sun’s harmful wavelengths while reducing the harmful effect of blue light. Unique clarity and durability for everyday use.
Through these three types of lenses, we are able to create blue light glasses for women and men that protect you, and bring out your personality. And rest assured, it’s perfectly possible to wear blue light glasses at all times, not just when you’re behind a screen.
What about the effectiveness of anti-blue light lenses?
Lenses that provide relief but don’t solve the problem
Would you like to know what we think about this type of lens? In our opinion, it is a good solution to reduce the effects of blue light. People like to wear them because of the comfort they provide on a daily basis.
In addition, a University of Houston study published in 2017 showed that wearing such glasses can promote the production of melatonin (sleep hormone) by 58%.
However, these special lenses do not entirely solve the problem. Indeed, the evidence between the wearing of these lenses and the reduction of eye fatigue due to blue light is quite thin. Moreover, blue light is not the main cause of eye problems.
More frequently, it may be due to:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): the eyes age naturally and vision inevitably declines;
- Dry eyes due to wearing a mask or working from home;
- Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS, caused by constant eye movements when looking at a screen, glare and contrast.
“When we look at a screen or digital device for too long, we don’t blink as often as we normally would, which makes the cornea dry and irritated,” says Dr. Bajic.
Other solutions exist to improve visual comfort
If anti blue light glasses are not the solution for you, there are other alternatives to improve your ocular comfort.
- Take breaks during your exposure to screens, and invest in electroluminescent bulbs that produce a low blue light emission;
- Choose warmer lighting (e.g., avoid cool white tones, which make your eyes work harder);
- Adjust the brightness of your digital device screens, thanks to certain software (LUX, for example). Some even offer to adapt to your time zone and geographical area, in order to reproduce the natural cycles of the sun;
Make an appointment with VU opticians for an eye exam, to assess your situation and find solutions adapted to your needs.
What you should know
While studies show a weak link between the wearing of anti-blue light glasses and the reduction of eye problems, this type of glass is not totally invalid. In fact, they can help produce melatonin as well as increase our comfort when exposed to digital screens.
Would you like to find a solution to reduce the effects of blue light on your vision? Are you tempted by our special anti-blue light lenses? We can help you! Make an appointment now for a consultation, we will be pleased to examine you.