Americans spend a whopping 11 hours or more looking at screens each day, which is wreaking havoc on our bodies — from tech neck to digital eye strain. While there are many ways to combat some of this added strain that comes with office work or school, our focus is the health of your eyes and the effect that excessive blue light may be having on them.
At Vision and Ortho-K Center, Dr. Curtis Frank and our team specialize in helping patients to see more clearly. One of the complaints we’re hearing more often is the strain that extended screen hours are placing on our patients’ eyes, which is why we offer lenses with special blue-light coatings.
Here’s a look at what blue light is, how it affects your body, and why a simple protective coating on your lenses may provide the solution you need.
All sources of light emit a spectrum of colorful light rays, and their colors are determined by the wavelength and energy of the ray. Blue light rays feature the shortest wavelengths of all the visible rays, which means that their energy levels are higher. In fact, blue rays are among the last visible rays on the lower end of the color spectrum (red is the highest) before they turn into invisible ultraviolet radiation.
Your primary exposure to blue light comes from the sun, and these rays play a critical role in your circadian rhythms (more on that later). But when you head indoors, modern technology continues to bombard your eyes with blue light, and the excess may be affecting your eye health.
To offset the effects that screens are having on your eyes in terms of blue light exposure, we offer eyeglasses lenses with a special coating that filters out the blue light. Just as you purchase sunglasses that offer UV protection, our lenses use the same technique to block blue light.
The coating doesn’t affect the appearance of your glasses and doesn’t affect how you see your screen. Even if you don’t wear prescription lenses, we can still set you up with blue light glasses if you’re experiencing problems with your eyes because of too much screen time.
The blue light waves that come from the sun are thought to be responsible for your energy levels and how alert you are, which is why nighttime use of screens is more problematic. Before modern technology, your body’s sleep rhythms were in tune to the light rays emitted by the sun. When the sun went down and the rays disappeared, your body began to produce melatonin, the hormone that signals sleep.
Thanks to nighttime screen use, your body is tricked into thinking that the sun is still up, so it may not produce enough melatonin for sleep. By wearing your blue light lenses at night, you can avoid this disruption in your circadian rhythms and improve your quality of sleep.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of glasses that protect against blue light, please contact our office in Boston, Massachusetts, to set up an appointment.