In recent months, there’s been a huge revolution in glasses and eye care: Blue light blockers.
The Coronavirus pandemic has pushed many workers home and in front of computer screens. Not only workers, but young students have moved home for schooling.
One of the less attractive parts of our modern technology is the blue light radiation that’s emitted by TVs, monitors, and computers.
Blue light affects brain chemistry, preventing the release of melatonin that tells the brain it’s time to sleep.
What is blue light?
Blue light is what it sounds like, visible light that’s 380 to 500 nanometers in wavelength and appear blue to our eyes. It’s often referred to as high-energy visible (HEV) light.
It’s a natural part of sunlight and nearly every other light source.
While monitors and TVs emit a small fraction of the amount of blue light created by the sun, because of the amount of time we’re spending in front of screens, it’s changing our brain chemistry.
The brain’s signals
The setting of the sun is a signal to our brains that it’s nearing time to sleep. The blue light in sunlight is the marker that tells us when the sun is up or down.
As our brains have evolved, it has learned that when blue light is around, we’re still up and working.
That means that when we’re working in front of a computer monitor, there’s a light signal to the brain that we want to be awake.
The effect on children
While many adults have adjusted to some extent to this situation, children who are staying in front of computer monitors for extended periods are finding that sleep is getting harder to come by..
There is some preliminary evidence that blue light, with its high energy, can contribute to macular degeneration. While more longitudinal study will tell us more, it appears that blue light can cause permanent eye damage.
Blue Light Blocking glasses
For eye care professionals, it’s a good idea to recommend blue light blocking glasses for the whole family for when they’re working on computers or even watching TV. This might be less important later when many people will spend less time in front of their computer monitors. Now is a good time to protect those eyes.
Blue light blocking styles
Blue light blocking glasses are available in a full variety of styles. Men, women, boys, and girls can each have their own blue light blocking glasses.
The lenses are treated with a special coating that stops blue light without changing the look of the computer or TV. Some blue light blocking glasses are amber. These are excellent for outdoor use, such as driving, fishing, or hunting. Much of what we call “glare” is the reflection of blue light that overwhelms the eyes.
Selling Blue Light Blocking glasses
As an eye care professional, you can sell these glasses as a precaution for adults and children. While there’s still room for more study, the initial information appears to show that reducing the amount of blue on the retina will protect it from macular degeneration. These glasses will also allow for better and more normal sleep. That idea alone will be important for parents who are struggling with children.
Learn more about Blue Light Blocking glasses on our website.