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  • Amy Vass - ABOC, Optician

Blue Light 101 - Blocking The Enemy

Updated: Jun 9


I think we can all appreciate the continuing advancements in digital technology. Just about any and all information one could ask for and dream up is at your fingertips 24/7.


Not only is it at our fingertips, but it’s also in front of our eyes. And that means we’re exposed to direct blue light wavelengths for large portions of our day.


Whether it be our smartphones, tablets, desktop computer screens, laptops - you name it - it’s there.



So, what exactly is blue light? Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. It’s one of the shortest, highest-energy wavelengths within the visible light spectrum. Blue light can be divided into two bands: blue-violet light (415-455 nm) and blue-turquoise light (465-495 nm). ‘NM’ stands for ‘nanometer’ - a unit of measurement. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter!


Retina Today: “Not all blue light is harmful; in fact, the two bands of blue light mentioned above, blue-violet and blue-turquoise, exhibit different effects on the eyes. Besides helping with visual acuity, contrast acuity, and color vision, blue-turquoise light is essential for our pupillary reflex and for synchronization of our circadian rhythms, which in turn help to maintain and regulate memory, mood, and hormonal balance. Light of this wavelength plays a vital role in maintaining general health.”



It’s the blue-violet light (or harmful blue light) that we need to be concerned about. This particular type of blue light is believed to be the most harmful to the retina - and is what’s emitted from our digital devices.


Studies have shown it can also lead to greater risks of certain types of cancers, increased risk of depression, age-related macular degeneration, DES - Digital Eyestrain Syndrome, CVS - Computer Vision Syndrome, and the list goes on…


As the use of digital technology increases, so too, should our knowledge of the role(s) it can play in, not only our eyesight, but our overall health and well-being.

To combat some of the negative aspects of living in a very digital age, technology has been taken to a new level in the optical industry, as well.


Optical products and lens features such as: Transition lenses (lenses that darken outside in the sun, and then transition back to clear once inside) all have a blue light filter, blue blocking anti-reflective lens treatments, and the FL-41 filter to name a few.


The American Optometric Association also recommends using the 20-20-20 rule, which is: Take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

And keep in mind that on most smartphones, under settings, you have the choice to apply a blue light filter.


So, no need to fear or swear off your beloved ‘Netflix’ binging - there are products and things you can do to keep your eyes protected and healthy.

Let Frameworks Eyewear be your trusted ally in this war against blue light - we’ve got your back… Or, rather… your eyes…. ;-)


*Fun Fact: The retina is the portion of the inner workings of the eye that receives the light that the lens within your eye has focused. It then converts the light into neural signals and sends these signals to our brain for visual recognition.



Sources:

1.Retina Today/Understanding Blue Light

http://retinatoday.com/2016/04/understanding-blue-light

Web Accessed: 25 November 2019.

2.WebMD/Is Blue Light Bad For Your Health?/June 19, 2017

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20170619/is-blue-light-bad-for-your-health

Web Accessed: 25 November 2019.

3.Medical News Today/Does the 20-20-20 Rule Prevent Eye Strain?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321536.php

Web Accessed: 25 November 2019.


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