The average British adult spends 8 hours and 41 minutes looking at screens every day according to recent Ofcom research. Whether we’re working at a office computer, browsing on a smart phone or watching TV, our tech-focused daily routines could be damaging our eyesight.
Whether we’re walking down the street, on the underground, or at work, digital devices have become a huge part of our lives.
Computer vision syndrome is an increasingly common condition, afflicting millions of us every year with eye strain, dryness, headaches, fatigue and difficulty focusing. Could blue light blocking glasses be the solution?
At Infocus Opticians, we’re committed to offering you the latest eyewear technology, so we’ve pulled together a few commonly asked questions to help you decide whether computer glasses could work for you…
What is Blue Light?
When you break down white light into its component rays it splits into a rainbow, with each hue indicating its specific energy level and wavelength.
The visible light spectrum
Simply put, rays at the red end of the spectrum are characterised by longer wavelengths and lower levels of energy, whilst those on the blue end feature shorter wavelengths and higher levels of energy.
Book-ending this visible spectrum are invisible low-energy infrared rays and high-energy ultra-violet rays. UV radiation aids vitamin D production, however, overexposure can cause sunburn, photokeratitis and eventually lead to cataracts.
Blue light rays are the visible rays closest to UV on the spectrum. These rays are vital for good health, boosting your alertness, cognitive function and general mood. Blue light also helps to regulate your sleep cycle by keeping you alert during the day, but by the same token, exposure to blue light in the evenings can result in sleepless nights.
Where Does Blue Light Come From?
Every day we are naturally exposed to ‘good’ blue light from sunshine. However, for many years now the use of LED lighting and digital devices, including flat-screen TVs, smart phones and tablets have presented a drastic increase in the amount of exposure of blue light. Researchers are suggesting that overexposure to these rays could potentially be contributing to digital eye strain.
Our increased and prolonged use of digital devices everyday has lead to more cases of digital eye strain and computer vision syndrome. Blue light can affect anyone who regularly uses a screen, even for a few hours, but with many British adults spending more time on screens than asleep, computer eye syndrome is fast becoming a modern epidemic.
Our eyes have evolved to filter out the vast majority of UV rays, yet almost all blue light passes through the cornea to reach the retina. Studies have shown that overexposure to these rays could damage light-sensitive cells and heighten the risk of developing macular degeneration later on in life. It’s no wonder vision specialists are growing increasingly concerned about the possible long-term effects of prolonged blue light exposure.
How Can We Protect Ourselves?
High-energy, blue light rays scatter more easily, which reduces focus and contrast, resulting in digital eye strain. There are a variety of ways to block these rays and counteract their effects –
One way of protecting your vision is by attaching a blue light blocking filter to your digital devices. These tend to come in the form of a thin sheet of tempered glass that sticks to the screen.
Smartphone and computer apps mask blue light by shifting the colour tone of the pixels to warmer, yellow tones. Apps such as Night Shift (iOS) and Night Mode (Android) come as standard with most smartphones, whilst downloaded apps such as Twilight, F.lux and Iris act as a blue light filter.
Be careful though, apps and filters can reduce contrast, making it harder to focus on your screen and increasing your risk of digital eye strain.
Glasses with a blue light filter are the most comprehensive solution for protecting your eyes against blue light, significantly increasing contrast for a more comfortable vision experience.
Available for adults and kids alike, high quality blue light blocking glasses look like normal spectacles but feature a special lens coating to filter blue light. Computer glasses can also be tailor-made to accommodate the distance from which you usually use your computer or phone at home or work.
Blue light blocking glasses – our top recommendation for anyone using digital devices daily for prolonged periods of time.
In a nutshell, exposure to natural blue light has always had a positive impact on mood, energy levels and cognitive function, but overexposure via digital devices can put you at risk of computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain.
Eye fatigue, blurred vision, irritation, headaches and sleeping problems are signs of digital eye strain, so if you do find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to book an appointment or contact our friendly team to talk about blue light blocking glasses.