Most of us spend a lot of time looking at monitors—you’re looking at one right now, and we were looking at one when we wrote this blog. Spending upwards of six to eight hours a day looking at a monitor has implications for our health in a myriad of ways, including our eye health. So what is it about staring at a monitor that hurts our eyes? Among other things, blue light.
What is blue light?
As we learned in school, visible light is made up of a spectrum that humans see as colors. Remember ROY G BIV? Most of us “met ROY” when we were learning the colors of the visible light spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Blue light has a short wavelength which produces a high amount of energy, and studies have suggested that prolonged exposure to this light can result in long-term eye damage, specifically to the retinas. Not only are we absorbing blue light through natural light and indoor lighting, but also through increased exposure to electronic screens.
On the other hand, blue light also has demonstrated health benefits, including helping people to regulate hormones that play an important role in our sleep cycles. Light therapy is used to help treat certain conditions such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and insomnia.
Eyewear and blue light
In response to this new normal of extended screen time, eyewear manufacturers have created blue light filters to help protect against the blue “High Energy Visible” (HEV) light. These filters allow “good” blue light waves through while simultaneously blocking the “bad”, short wave blue light from reaching our eyes, which helps to alleviate eye-strain (dryness, fatigue) in the short-term and protect eye-health in the long term. Lens coating manufacturer Crizal’s Provencia line is engineered to protect eyes from the harmful blue-violet light present every day in sunlight, indoor lighting, and digital monitors.
The benefits of this type of lens extend beyond monitor protection to things like night vision, reducing the glare from oncoming headlights when you’re on the road. The Crizal lenses also reduce glare from headlights, taillights, and streetlights, to help improve vision (and reaction time) when driving at night.
Are you experiencing eye strain or fatigue from increased digital monitor time? It may be time to consider blue light filters for your corrective or non-corrective lenses. Visit a Houston Eye Elegance location to learn more. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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