By: Dr. Amber Teten – Chesapeake Eye Doctor specialist
Are you getting ready for an eye exam and have questions about blue light? We have all heard about blue light and computer screens. Our eyes cannot naturally filter blue light. Here are some typical eye exam questions you can consider discussing with your Chesapeake eye doctor at your next comprehensive eye exam.
What is the buzz about blue light? And what is blue light protection? Is it yellow-tinted glasses? Is it the glasses you see online, and are they all created the same? Is it a setting on your phone? Is it only on a computer screen? How do you wear blue light protection if you need a prescription pair of glasses? Does blue light harm your eyes? Does blue light affect your sleep schedule?
Dr. Teten, a top eye doctor in Chesapeake, will answer these eye exam questions and more.
What is Blue Light?
We all know Ultraviolet, or UV light, is harmful, and we should protect our skin and eyes from sun damage. Too much sun exposure causes sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer. So how are UV and Blue Light different? UV light is more energetic than other lights; it is made of shorter wavelengths of light. UV light is not visible to us; we get it mainly from the sun. UV light absorption contributes to Vitamin D in the body. However, too much UV exposure leads to free radicals in the body that can be harmful, especially to the eyes.
A local Chesapeake eye doctor, like Dr. Teten, can detect UV damage to your eyes during your annual eye exam. An optometrist can see UV damage to the eyes with cataracts, pinguecula, pterygium, and solar maculopathy. Blue light is the shortest wavelength of light and can penetrate high energy. The exposure to our eyes from blue lights is harmful, just the same. The damage from blue light is of concern, especially in the last two years, with all of us (adults and children) spending much more time on digital screens. Dr. Teten, a pediatric eye doctor in Chesapeake, has seen a significant change in her local Chesapeake pediatric eye care patients during these last two years.
Protecting Your Eyes from Blue Light
When you go to your eye exam, you and your optometrist want the best for your eye health. It is essential to discuss your daily lifestyle and work environment with your optometrist during your eye exam or with your pediatric eye doctor for your children. Your optometrist can recommend the best way to protect your eyes from blue light. While still allowing you to enjoy all the activities that bring you joy. Protecting your eyes from blue light damage will enable you to enjoy the clarity your vision allows you to see and to cherish every moment of life.
The highest source of blue light is from the sun. The second highest source is digital devices like phones, tablets, and computers. This high-frequency blue light on screens can be dangerous as you continue to stare and expose your eyes. You will use screens throughout your lifetime for work and leisure. Why wait? You can protect your eyes today. Using blue light filtering glasses or contacts acts as a barrier between your eyes and the harmful blue light on the screen.
Wearing blue light protective glasses is one way to provide protection. Glasses with your unique prescription in the lenses can have the critical feature of blue light protection. Dr. Teten recommends blue light protection to all her adult and pediatric patients. Contrary to what is seen online, where blue light glasses have a yellow tint, this is not necessary for prescription blue light-blocking lenses. You can be assured that an optical gallery, such as Navigation Eye Care, can provide the blue light protection you need. The blue light protection you gain will
allow you to enjoy more of the things you like to do.
Recently, manufacturers started offering contact lenses with built-in blue light filtering. Suppose you use a digital device during your day. In that case, this is a topic to discuss with your optometrist during your contact lens eye exam. Not every contact lens has the feature of blocking the blue light. Regular contact lenses do not filter blue light. Some contact lenses with blue light protection include Total30, Precision1, Acuvue Oasys Transitions, and Acuvue Oasys Max 1-day. At your next eye exam at Navigation Eye Care, we can prescribe these special contact lenses. These contact lenses will help you maintain your busy lifestyle without fear of damaging your eyes with blue light.
Pediatric Eye Doctor Tips
Another way to protect your eyes from blue light is to limit the time spent on screens. We at Navigation Eye Care understand that screen use is necessary for the workplace and education. At your next eye exam, your optometrist can discuss guidelines for digital screen use for you and your children. Dr. Teten, as a pediatric eye doctor, recommends that children ages 2 to 5 years old should have a maximum of 1 hour a day using screens. Children ages 5 to 8 should use screens for a maximum of 2 hours a day. Children ages 8-18 years old typically spend, on average, 7 hours a day on their screens. They should limit screen usage to 2 hours, especially on weekends.
How to relax your eyes from your digital device
Dr. Teten recommends taking breaks every 20 minutes from the digital screen. Additionally, it would help if you switched to focus on something across the room or at least 20 feet away from you to help your eyes relax. An excellent idea for a quick brea is to get up and enjoy the Chesapeake air, walk around, and stretch your legs. Remember that reaching for your phone is a digital device. Your eyes need a break from staring at that screen and absorbing all that blue light. This need to end screen time is especially true before bedtime. Stopping the use of electronics 2-3 hours before bed can help with sleep. Blue light from a screen makes the brain think it is daylight and throws sleep patterns off, causing restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
So, if you or your child spends time in front of a digital device, seek proper eye care treatment with blue light lenses or contacts. We encourage you to call the Navigation Eye Care team at 757-529-6889 or schedule an appointment. We are equipped and prepared to care for you and your whole family. If you are looking for excellent service in a friendly manner, check us out. We highly recommend that you choose Navigation Eye Care when looking for a top eye doctor in Chesapeake. We will serve in the Chesapeake area for many years and can’t wait to see you and your family.