Eye Focus June 2017 - Page 10

LENSES TO BLOCK THE BAD BLUES Do you suffer from headaches, strained, tired and dry eyes or blurred vision. These are all symptoms of digital eye strain. The Vision Council, which recently released its 2017 Blue Light Exposure/Digital Eye Strain report, says sunlight as well as digital screens – like those of computers, televisions, smartphones and tablets – are the most common sources of a person's blue light exposure. “Blue light, also known as high-energy visible light, is a type of light with short wavelengths emitting a higher energy,” says Jessica Lutz, marketing and communica- tions manager at The Vision Council. “Blue light can penetrate deep into the eye. Studies suggest that there may be a connection between exposure to blue light and damage to the retina, long-term vision problems, and suppression of the body’s natural release of melatonin causing sleep disruption.” People are becoming increasingly digitized and more of our daily tasks include using smartphones and computers. The Vision Council report states that more than 87 per cent of people report using digital devices for more than two hours per day and 52.2 percent report using two digital devices simultaneously. The Vision Council recommends visiting your eyecare provider to discuss your digital habits and to see what eyewear solutions are available to relieve digital eye strain symptoms and reduce exposure to blue light. “Many eyecare providers recommend individuals who spend extended periods of time in front of digital screens wear glasses outfitted with specialized lenses featuring blue light-filtering and anti-reflective capabilities,” says Lutz. These specialized lenses are designed to minimize blue light exposure, reduce glare and alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain. Additionally, these specialized lenses are available with or without a prescription. There are also sunglasses available in Canada that can help to shield the eyes from harmful blue light. 10 EYE FOCUS | June Digital 2017