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Latest Vision News

Block the Blue Light

The truth is, blue light isn’t all bad. It shouldn’t be blocked at all times. It can help memory, boost alertness, and elevate your mood! Still, the eye cannot take blue light all day long and it can easily contribute to eye strain especially when it is coming from computer screens and tablets and cellphones.

These days, we’re working, learning, and relaxing in front of screens emitting blue light all throughout the day—and night. Even your average indoor lightbulb can give off blue light.

You’re probably wondering. Okay, but what is blue light anyway?

Blue light is the highest energy visible light on the UV spectrum, and before the advent of technology, the sun was our only significant source of blue light. Problems arise, however, with the amount of blue light to which we are exposing our brains and bodies, potentially causing undue stress to our eyes and even making it hard to sleep at night.

There are a few ways to avoid this strain. First, let us introduce you to one of the best options on the list: blue light blocking lenses.

What are blue light blocking lenses?

Good question. Glasses equipped with lenses with blue light protection are a simple solution to combat the symptoms caused by increased screen time. The technology in these lenses has a subtle tint that softens harsh blue light rays as they pass through, reducing the amount of blue light to which the wearer’s eyes are exposed. They aren’t heavy or thick and can be made without a prescription attached to them. They can be made to fit adults, teens and children and are safe for all to wear. All blue light blocking glasses aren’t made the same. They can be made to block a certain percentage of blue light. How much you decide to block, well, that is up to you. Give our practice a call and we will gladly talk you through your options!

What else can I do to block blue light?

While you won’t be able to block it without the correct lens as your shield, you can still manage it.

When working at a computer, for example, you’re often looking up and down, from screen to paper, and your eyes are moving around and refocusing time after time. This is where the 20-20-20 rule can come into play. For every 20 minutes you’re in front of a screen, turn your head and look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Just, give your eyes a break.

Another option: simply lower the brightness. The display settings for your screen on your phone or computer allow you to adjust the amount of light seeping from the screen. If your screen looks like a light source, lower the brightness. If your screen looks dull and a bit too dark, it’s okay and probably for the best to brighten it up. A dull screen can also strain your eyes.

Bottom line, protect your eyes the best way you can and remember that we are here to help! Looking to get a pair of blue light protection glasses that fit your lifestyle and your budget? Here at Infinity Eye Care, we can customize any style of frame and lens prescription with blue light-blocking technology.

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Millions of people are affected by dry eye syndrome and the prevalence of dry eye increases with age. An estimated 3.2 million women and over and 1.68 million men age 50 and over are affected by dry eye syndrome.

Here are some risk factors for dry eye:

Aging: Advancing age is the single most important risk factor for dry eye. Most of our body’s moisture-producing glands produce less moisture as we age.

Gender: Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from dry eye. Changes in hormone levels throughout your lifetime often affect the amount of moisture produced by the lacrimal glands that produce tears.

Medical problems: Several diseases result in increased risk for dry eye syndrome, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid abnormalities, asthma, cataracts, glaucoma, and lupus.

Medication: Certain medications can decrease the body's ability to produce lubricating tears.

Contact lenses: Dry eye is the leading cause of contact lens discomfort or intolerance.

Environmental conditions: Exposure to smoke, fluorescent lights, air pollution, wind, heat, air conditioning, and dry climates can increase tear evaporation.

Computer users: People who spend many hours staring at computer screens tend to blink significantly less often. Not blinking allows the eyes to dry faster.

Refractive surgery: This increases the risk of dry eye. Surgery often interferes with the superficial nerves on the cornea. Properly functioning nerves are necessary to help keep the eye surface moist.

Dry eye can present in many different ways. You can have irritation (often presenting as a foreign body feeling on the eye surface), redness, burning, excessive tearing (yes that sounds counterintuitive but often presents this way), or intermittent blurring of vision.

The only way to be sure your symptoms are truly a dry eye problem is to have a comprehensive exam by your ophthalmologist or optometrist. There are other problems, such as allergic reactions and blepharitis, that can create similar symptoms so you need to be examined to determine which of these issues is causing your symptoms.

 

Article contributed by Dr. Brian Wnorowski, M.D.

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ

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