The blue light dilemma, and how to fix it

By Kylie Cawiezell and Anna Sturmer

A recent breakthrough in technology has allowed glasses to evolve. New glasses can now offer filters that block out forms of light waves never protected against before; furthermore, the filters will not distort the way you perceive color. These lenses can especially protect you against blue light, which can be the most harmful to your vision, leaving you with unwanted symptoms if you have prolonged exposure.

Any light you see has blue light somewhere in it. Blue light is one of the shortest wavelengths, but is one of the most powerful forms of lightwaves. This light, in it’s natural form, emits from the sun and is what causes the sky to appear blue.  

“Why would I care to block this light?” you might ask.

Well, based on studies published by researchers across America, blue light is all around us and overexposure, especially at night, can cause symptoms that could lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.  Likewise, artificial light such as the kind that comes from your phone, can cause short term effects such as eye-strain, headaches, and abnormal sleep patterns due to the lowering of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep (the changes in your hormones are caused by the prolonged exposure to the harmful rays of blue light). Changes in your sleep patterns can shift the body’s natural clock and can make it harder to stay awake during the day, while also altering your organs’ performances.   

This potentially harmful ray radiates from the sun, electronic devices, LED and fluorescent lighting.   

If you are worried that you may have experienced over exposure to blue light waves, there are some options to consider. In low light, our eyes are more sensitive to the high frequency end on the visible light spectrum, which leads to seeing increased glare as well as damaging our eyes. A filter on your glasses lens is now offered, that reduces the amount of blue light that reaches your eye. The lens also reduces the nighttime glare that headlights produce when driving. You can get these lens on your normal glasses, and wear them all day or get an alternative pair and wear them in low light and while you are in front of a computer.  If you can’t afford new lenses, simply avoid looking at your screens after you’ve turned off the light; this can help your eyes when they are most vulnerable (when you are looking at something in dim light).  

You may not notice the effects of blue light on a daily basis, but this light wave is influencing you.  Look into the new science of blue light filtering lenses and make choices that reduce your use of LED lights at night so as to improve the quality of your sleep and vision.

For more reading on the subject, check out these articles:

“Blue Light Lenses: Featherwates® Blue IQ™.” Blue Light Glasses & Lenses: Featherwates® Blue IQ™ | LensCrafters, www.lenscrafters.com/lc-us/featherwates-blueiq-lenses. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.

Mar 31, 2015 by BETTER VISION Sunglasses, ZEISS News, Eyeglass Lenses, . “Blue Light: the Good and the Bad.” Blue Light: the Good and the Bad | ZEISS United States, www.zeiss.com/vision-care/en_us/better-vision/understanding-vision/eye-and-vision/blue-light-the-good-and-the-bad.html. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.

Publications, Harvard Health. “Blue Light Has a Dark Side.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.

Schmerler, Jessica. “Q&A: Why Is Blue Light before Bedtime Bad for Sleep?” Scientific American, 14 Aug. 2015, www.scientificamerican.com/article/q-a-why-is-blue-light-before-bedtime-bad-for-sleep/. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.

“Shine the Light on Blue Light.” Blue Light Exposed, www.bluelightexposed.com/#what-is-bue-light. Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.

 

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