We live in a world where much of our day is spent in front of a screen. From mobile devices to long days spent in front of a computer, blue light exposure is a large contributing factor to the increase in permanent vision damage from long-term cumulative effects.
Blue light is the highest exposure in the visible light spectrum. It can penetrate eye filters all the way to the back of the eye. Since children’s eyes are still developing through their early teens, they’re particularly sensitive to blue light exposure. The cumulative effects of blue light exposure can lead to lesions in the RPE and macular degeneration.
To help your patients protect their eye health, you should inform them to cut back on their exposure if at all possible. Barring that, if they can refrain from using their digital devices for a couple of hours before they sleep each night, melatonin production will increase as well as REM sleep, which can contribute to their overall health.
Second, you should recommend lenses that help filter blue light, especially for children spending several hours every day using digital devices for leisure and homework completion. Unlike blue light filters of the past, these lenses are not bright orange. In fact, they’re often barely tinted and do not alter vision like older lenses.
Many patients who have been prescribed these protective lenses report almost immediate relief from digital eye strain and experience greater eye comfort from the improved contrast of the lenses. It’s critical to your patients’ eye health to ensure their exposure to blue light is limited as much as possible.
Although many patients are aware they should have an annual comprehensive eye exam, many do not follow-through. Remind them of the cumulative damage blue light exposure can cause and reinforce the importance of good eye health. By adding optomap retinal imaging to your comprehensive eye exams, you can help create a baseline for your patients that can aid in early diagnosis. Contact us to learn how we can help your practice.