For the past few years, there has been a lot of speculation on whether blue-blocking lenses are beneficial. Science has put out studies and information saying blue light is good and bad. Natural light, which includes all the spectrum of colors is good in small doses. However, the eye world has been all aflutter about too much blue light is harmful and permanently damaging to the eyes and vision.
WHY TOO MUCH BLUE LIGHT CAN BE BAD
In a nutshell, blue light is believed to stimulate the brain and mess up circadian rhythms making everyone stay up too late and feel tired. From the eye’s perspective, it is possibly supposed to damage the most sensitive part of the retina, the central area(aka the macula). Debates have raged in the ‘eye’ community, but some studies have shown a potential link to macular degeneration, which can cause permanent loss of your central vision.(So can smoking and poor nutrition but that is a topic for another day!)
COVID-19 AND WORKING FROM HOME
With the recent upheaval of COVID-19 in all areas of our day to day lives, one major shift that has occurred-almost everyone I have talked to has been spending significantly more time on their devices. Whether for distance learning, working from home more, or even just checking the news a gazillion times to see if they have miraculously found a cure and life can go back to normal, everyone’s screen time is up. Devices put out a ton of blue light(that is why your face is washed in blue light when you look at a screen in the dark) and cause eye strain and fatigue to ramp up more quickly.
WHAT WE RECOMMEND
All things in moderation. Get out of the house and get a little daylight activity early in the day. Take frequent breaks if you have to be on the computer for several hours at a time. We call this the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes pick a target 20 feet away and look at it for 20 seconds and BLINK a few times(this helps with dryness too-another common complaint with increased screen time). Stop looking at any device at least an hour before bed(easier said than done, I know;)
Activate blue-blocking apps on all devices. I use one called flux on my desktop, and iPhones have easy to activate blue-blocking called NIGHT SHIFT right in settings. I can feel my own eyes relax when I turn this on.
Get a prescription specifically designed for computer use and put blue-blocking treatment right on those puppies. We prescribe glasses specifically for our heavy computer users called an occupational Rx, but you can put a blue-blocking treatment on almost any lens. Our favorites are Prevencia and BlueTech. Follow the links below for more technical explanations or make an appointment to see it for yourself.
By taking a few easy steps, you can have healthier and more comfortable eyes. Try it out. I hope this helps make your day a little easier.
-Dr. Christy Larson