The Dangers of Blue Light

We've covered some of the dangers of blue light over the past couple of months, but for this week of our Eyes on Health campaign, we will look in more detail at the causes and the measures you can take to prevent unnecessary damage to your vision. It may get a bit scientific but stick with it!

Eyes on Health, week 6 - The Dangers of Blue Light
Eyes on Health, week 6 - The Dangers of Blue Light

You may be asking yourselves, "what is blue light?". When light enters your eye, it is detected as a very narrow band of wavelengths known as the visible light spectrum. This consists of the three primary colours: red, green and blue. These wavelengths transmit through to your retina (see below). This is a light-sensitive layer of tissue which lines the inner surface of the eye. The blue light we are talking about is this blue wavelength, and compared to other visible light, it's the blue light which carries more energy. If this light reaches the retina directly without any protection, it can cause more damage to that area than the other colours. We are all aware of the benefits of blocking the UV from the sun, we really need to start thinking about protecting ourselves from other harmful light from electronic devices.

The Biggest Offenders...

Televisions, computer screens, smartphones, tablets and fluorescent lighting all emit unnaturally high proportions of blue light. As shown in the diagram above, these blue light waves pass straight through to the macula and the retina at the back of the eye. More and more of us are using these digital devices every single day. As we write this article, we're staring at a computer screen, and you're probably reading it from your phone or tablet. Computers and smartphones are simply a common method of communication these days, most of us would be lost without them!

Giving up using these devices is a big thing to ask, but experts suggest even turning down the brightness of the screens will help a little, reducing the levels of blue light that enter the eye. Thanks to our friends at Rodenstock, we can now offer additional help in the form of lenses which block the amount of blue light entering the eye - more on that below.

What Does Blue Light Do?

Blue light can have a number of effects on your eyes. The biggest threat to our vision as a result of excessive blue light is the development of age-related macular degeneration. The macula at the back of the eye deteriorates over time, causing your central vision to gradually fail. It can cause red eye syndrome, eye fatigue and early development of short sightedness (myopia). Blue light can even suppress the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences a natural sleep cycle. This is why using your tablet or smartphone late at night is not a good idea if you're looking to have a good night's sleep. In fact, some researches claim that exposure to blue light at night can often have an even more adverse affect on the body than it does in the daytime.

Blue light and UV protection plus anti-reflection

We now offer Protect Balance 2 specialised lenses from Rodenstock. These lenses block the amount of blue light from entering the eye. Not only that, they also offer:

  • Anti-reflection
  • Scratch resistance
  • Climate resistance
  • Anti-static effect
  • Water/oil repellency
  • Dirt repellency
  • Anti-fogging

If you don't normally require glasses but feel you would benefit from these lenses, we can provide a non-prescription option with the blue light protection, offering you healthier and more relaxed vision. Please contact us if you are interested in Protect Balance 2 lenses, or visit us at any of our stores.

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