THE URGENT NEED FOR ANTI-BLUE LIGHT LENSES IN OUR DAILY/EVERYDAY LIVES

in StemSociallast year (edited)

It is a glaring fact that the increase in the number of people with eye defects has become so alarming.

About a month ago, a friend of mine went to an eye care centre for a check-up after experiencing constant migraine and redness of the eyes. This was later diagnosed as high eye pressure otherwise known as ocular hypertension coming along with symptoms like High blood pressure and of course Migraine.
The ophthalmologist stated that this could have resulted from applying too much strain on his eyes and not getting adequate sleep after spending hours with his eyes glued to the screen and my friend here had a knack for doing such no matter how many times I advised, but now he knows better.

After undergoing the eye check, the ophthalmologist prescribed some medications including eye drops and most importantly, he was given medicated lenses also, imprinted with the prescription and anti-blue light effect suitable for his condition; reducing the eye pressure as well as blocking excessive light or blue light from making its way into his eyes.

I would love to describe what anti-blue light glasses are but I will take a step back to explain what blue light is first off.

What is blue light?

Blue light is one of the several colours in the visible light spectrum and these colours are written in the acronym, ROYGBIV which stands for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. They make up the white light which we can see when the sun shines (The sun being the natural and main source of blue light).

Each colour in the visible light spectrum has a different wavelength and energy. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and has the highest energy level compared to the rest of the colours.

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Diagram of the light electromagnetic spectrum showing the energy level and wavelength of each colour

Blue light is the most visible to the human eye in the visible light spectra due to its high energy, and that also attributes to why most electronic devices and bulbs that have LED lights also contain artificial blue light/blue-violet light or high-energy visible (HEV) light.

HEV is a wavelength that closely resembles the sun's blue light, Imagine how discomforting it can be to stare at the sun, now think of the negative effect of staring at your screen that emits HEV which is close to the sun's blue light for a prolonged amount of time can also cause.

Blue light is a natural form that helps to regulate the body’s sleep and wake-up cycles also known as the Circadian Cycle. This rhythm signals your brain when to wake up and when it is time to sleep.

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The Circadian rhythm

During the day, it helps to stay awake and be active but is bad at night cause night is supposed to be a resting period. The natural form of blue light gotten from sunlight is not released at night but excessive/prolonged exposure to blue light from electronic devices at night messes with your sleep cycle or Circadian cycle and it is linked to poor sleep.

Exposure to blue light for as little as an hour or two at night can alter the rhythm and slow down or stop the release of the hormone that induces sleep known as Melatonin.

Being that it is almost impossible to avoid exposure to blue light from our devices like phones and laptops, it is advisable to use filters/lenses that cut at least 94% of blue light or if possible, steer clear from the use of the electronic device 2-3 hours before bedtime. These filters are known as Blue light filters or anti-blue light lenses.

What are blue light filters/anti-blue light glasses

Anti-blue light glasses also known as Blue-light blocking glasses are glasses that contain lenses which are particularly designed to filter the harmful blue-violet rays that are emitted from digital screens. These lenses help filter blue light from entering the eyes and that may cause potential damage to them.

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Woman on anti-blue light glasses using her device

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Man staring at his screen with anti-blue light glasses

Effects of constant/excessive exposure to Blue light

Blue rays from electronics are linked to issues like;

Ø Blurry Vision

Ø Eye Strain: A condition where the eye gets tired from intense and long use.

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Eye Strain

Ø Dry Eye: A condition where the eye does not create enough tears needed for lubrication of the eyes and this is known by the peppery sensation felt.

Ø Insomnia or sleeping disorder: This is the persistent inability to fall and stay asleep.

Ø High eye pressure/ Ocular Hypertension: This is a situation where the pressure inside the eyes is higher than normal i.e an increase in the fluid inside the eyes, The eye should have a normal pressure of 10-21mmHg but if it is greater than that, it results in symptoms like migraine, redness of the eye, pain in and around the eyes, etc. When left untreated, it can lead to Glaucoma.

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Ocular hypertension

Ø Glaucoma: A condition that results from high pressure or build-up of excess fluid in the eyes leading to the damage of the optic nerve and can result in blindness if left untreated.

Ø Macular Degeneration: This is the gradual deterioration of the macula or the central part of the retina(the site of vision).
It is important to know that these effects are not just caused by Blue light alone but other agents can contribute to their occurrence, Also note that most of these effects result from long-term continuous exposure and negligence to its symptoms.

When to wear blue light blocking glasses

Since it is almost impossible to observe screen time i.e taking a time off from screens before bedtime at least for an hour or two, a way out had to be formulated to at least protect one from the potential negative effect of exposure to blue light so blue light blocking glasses were created.

Our digital devices/screens have become our major source of news and entertainment, means of communication and social interaction and have even become our source of livelihood(more like a mobile office) that’s why it is almost impossible to abstain.

Opting to wear protective eyewear such as blue light-blocking glasses can make an enormous difference in maintaining the health of your eyes and minimizing eyestrain while you use your digital devices.

How Effective are Anti-blue light or Blue light blocking glasses?

Blue light blocking glasses do not necessarily help solve eye strain issues or eye damage, it just helps to prevent the intensity or amount of blue light exposure to your eyes.
So if you still spend long hours staring at your screen even while using blue light-blocking glasses or without blinking or taking a break, eye strain will still be a consequence, the only difference is that it might take a longer time to occur, putting on anti-blue light glasses.

But one thing blue light blocking filters help with is to improve sleep, There is an outrageous increase in the occurrence of insomnia, one of the causes being exposure to digital blue light, so the glasses help to reduce this exposure, bring balance to the Circadian cycle, encourage the release of melatonin and induce sleep.
To improve sleep, it is also advisable to turn your lights off I.e sleep in a dark room and possibly use a sleep mask to block off all light penetration into your eyes.

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A woman using a Sleep mask

Advantages of using anti-blue light glasses

  1. They help relieve eyestrain which occurs from prolonged exposure to digital blue light.

  2. It improves sleep; Our Circadian rhythm depends on melatonin levels, higher exposure to blue light reduces the secretion of the sleep hormone(melatonin), so the use of anti-blue light lenses will assist in bringing balance to the light exposure during screen use and still not mess with the production of melatonin.

  3. Relief from headache caused by prolonged exposure to blue light.

  4. It improves memory: Due to exposure to blue light resulting in a reduction or lack of sleep, one may experience temporary memory loss in the daytime. So the use of these glasses improves sleep at night and in turn helps in the retention of memory when you wake up.

How do you know you need anti-blue light glasses?

· If you live in this era where screens contain our livelihood, you most definitely need anti-blue light glasses.

· When you constantly experience insomnia due to working long hours on your digital devices, you need to opt to use these glasses. Though medical attention and abstinence are needed if it persists.

· If your digital device is your workplace or place of learning.

Note: You don’t have to have an eye defect before you opt to use anti-blue light glasses, you can prevent the negative effects of blue light instead.

Hope this article was insightful, I must say I learnt a lot in the course of research and I would love it if your opinions are stated in the comments section.
Till we meet again, Bye for now👋

REFERENCES

- All about blue light
- The Sun's blue light vs Artificial blue light
- How does blue light affect you
- Symptoms from exposure to blue light
- Measuring Eye Pressure
- When to wear blue light blocking glasses
- Benefits of using blue light blocking glasses

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Thank you so much for sharing. I learnt alot from this. I spend most of the hours everyday on screen. This is particularly helpful to me. This anti blue light glasses is a good option for me to help protect my eyes.

It's an honour, thanks for reading

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I was aware of these issues for many years, and I have special glasses that filter blue light out for many years. Due to my work, I spent easily more than 12-13 hours in front of a computer, and this was a game changer back in the day!

We only have two eyes and we should be careful with them.

Absolutely

It's scary that the more we delve into technological advancements, we pay for it with certain vital body parts.

That's true, although the main reason is probably that this was not expected at conception time. That's learning by trials and errors, somewhat.

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Thank you so much, this is more than just an ordinary pieces of information, so the sun emits blue light too... I had to get an anti-blue + photochromic glasses when I realized that I started to have migraine whenever I stay outdoor for too long.

How is it working out now?

Very important health care tip light rays from out device are no doubt harmful for our health thanks for sharing.