November 10, 2020
If you’re rubbing your eyes as you’re reading this, you may already be showing signs of overexposure to blue light. (And if you weren’t just rubbing your eyes, you’re probably thinking about doing it right this instant!) So much in our daily lives revolves around our technology – we have computers, tablets, televisions, cell phones and other devices surrounding us practically every minute of the day. While these handy tools help us work more efficiently and enjoy our leisure time, they also emit blue light rays that can have a negative effect on the health of our eyes.
Blue light is the visible light at the high energy end of the spectrum, and it has the shortest wavelengths. These rays can be a double-edged sword. Blue light in moderate amounts is essential – it can boost our mood, sharpen our memory and cognitive function and help our bodies maintain their circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm is your body’s natural cycle of wakefulness and sleep. Without blue light, our bodies wouldn’t know when they need to rest. However, too much blue light can cause troubling issues such as dry eyes, sore eyes, headaches, fatigue and eye strain, along with troubling muscle aches in the neck, shoulders and back.
There is also some evidence that overexposure to blue light may increase the risk of developing macular degeneration. Blue light penetrates the eye all the way back to the retina (the inner lining at the back of the eye). Lab studies show that blue light may cause permanent damage to the delicate light sensitive cells of the retina, forcing changes that resemble those common in patients with the disease. While more studies are required, it’s better to err on the side of caution and protect your eyes from blue light. Older eyes can also suffer from cataracts, which irreparably damage the lens of the eye. When the cloudy natural lens is replaced during cataract surgery, the patient loses the almost 100% protection from blue light rays that the lens of the human eye gives to the retina. If you’re going to have cataract surgery, make sure to ask your eye doctor about the level of blue light protection the replacement lens will give your eye. Blue light glasses can help protect your eyes from damage after the surgery.
Nearly 70% of American adults experience some level of eye strain due to use of digital technology. And our children are also at risk – kids under the age of 8 often spend two or more hours per day looking at a digital screen, while for children 8 to 10 years of age, the exposure time jumps to six hours per day! With the recent COVID-19 pandemic changing the way our kids learn, the daily time spent in front of the blue light emitted from a screen can climb even higher. You can use the 20/20/20 method to help reduce the stress on your eyes – learn more about this useful trick here.
Another great way to combat overexposure to blue light is limiting your screen time, but this isn’t always possible. It’s time to consider a pair of blue light blocking glasses. If you already wear glasses, they can be made in your prescription. And don’t worry...they won’t look like your granny’s glasses! Eye strain glasses can be made with the latest designer frames if you’re looking for a stylish edge to your vision protection. If you normally wear contact lenses, or don’t need corrective lenses, anti-fatigue glasses can be made without a prescription. You can get computer glasses for kids as well – frames are available in a size for every child to help protect their eyes from the effects of blue light overexposure.
If you haven’t had a recent vision exam, it’s a great idea to have your optometrist do a vision test before you buy blue light blocking glasses, just to make sure there aren’t any other reasons your eyes may be irritated and your vision may be compromised. Glasses to protect eyes from computer glare and blue light will only help if any existing vision irregularities are corrected first. Eye fatigue glasses are also designed to optimize your vision at the typical distance that separates you from your screens.
If you’re wondering where to buy computer glasses, you’ve come to the right place. At Pro-Optix Eye Care, we offer a full range of the best computer glasses on the market! Call 713-360-7095 for an appointment with one of our Houston eye doctors today!
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