If you work on a computer, use a smartphone, watch TV, or simply go out in the sun, you are being exposed to high-energy visible (HEV) blue light. Too much blue light exposure can damage the eyes over time and even lead to vision loss. Today, more people are wearing blue-light-blocking lenses to protect their eyes from these potentially damaging rays.
What is HEV Blue Light?
HEV blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. During the daytime, natural blue light from the sun helps keep you awake and regulates your circadian rhythm, or ‘body clock.’ Indoors, blue light is emitted from digital devices like computers or smartphone screens, as well as artificial light sources such as LED and fluorescent lights.
The Dark Side of Blue Light
The most common effects of too much blue light exposure are eye strain, blurred vision, and headaches. However, recent studies have focused on blue light’s negative impact on the circadian rhythm and found that watching TV or using a tablet before bedtime, for example, can result in restlessness and disrupted sleep cycles. In extreme cases, too much blue light exposure can even lead to permanent eye damage and vision loss.
Children are especially vulnerable because their eyes have not yet developed natural defenses against UV and HEV blue light. Today, a staggering 97 percent of American kids under the age of four use mobile devices, and teens are spending an average of 6.5 hours per day on screens. Now that kids are using more digital devices at home and school starting at a young age, it’s important to protect their eyes as much as possible.
Computer Glasses vs. Blue Blockers
Computer glasses and blue blockers both refer to eyewear that blocks blue light. Computer glasses were originally geared toward people who use computers for hours at a time, including gamers. These specialty eyeglasses typically have yellow-tinted lenses to filter out HEV blue light. While computer glasses are great for protecting the eyes, they’re not so great for everyday wear since the yellow tint distorts colors. Now that digital devices are so prevalent in our lives, our exposure to blue light has increased dramatically and moved beyond the desktop or console. It’s time to consider everyday blue blockers.
The Beyond UV blue blocker lenses from Zenni Optical is a virtually clear lens that blocks HEV blue light and provides maximum UV protection with minimal color distortion. Beyond UV is made with a blue-light-blocking polymer that is directly incorporated into the lens material. This polymer absorbs the blue light, preventing it from passing through the lens to your eye. Because it is a clear lens, Beyond UV can be used with everyday glasses instead of a regular optical lens for all-day protection from blue light and UV exposure.
Deciding If You Need Blue Blockers
The first step to protecting your vision is to get an annual eye exam. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, blurred vision, or headaches when using the computer or watching TV for hours at a time, it could be related to blue light and you should discuss wearing blue blockers with your eye doctor. Similarly, if your kids are spending a lot of screen time on tablets, smartphones, or video games, you should consider blue blockers for them too.