In the past couple of years, “blue-blocking” has become a huge buzzword among optometrists as a necessity in modern eye care. Why? Technology. Almost all modern electronic screens, from your smartphone to your laptop screen, are created with the goal to mimic natural sunlight. A recent survey done by Live Well found that full-time workers and especially Millennials spend an average of eight hours in front of a screen every day of the work week. These screens emit a small but significant amount of blue light. Why is this significant? Visual exposure to blue light in large amounts can cause all kinds of chaos in our eyes and our brain. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
At the end of the day, you have a headache, your eyes are weary, and/or you feel very fatigued.
You might be thinking, “Well yeah, I go to work, of course I come home fatigued!” But if you work in a position where you are largely using screens such as computers, smartphones, or tablets all day, then you might be experiencing eye strain.
You experience insomnia-like symptoms and have a hard time keeping your sleep schedule consistent.
Sunlight helps keep our circadian rhythm, or natural waking and sleeping cycles, consistent. If you’re looking at your tiny sun-like phone screen for hours as you lay in bed, you’ll find that your brain gets confused and hormonally thrown off balance, resulting in insomnia and a less restful night’s sleep.
You’ve experienced changes in your vision in the last few years, ranging from new near-sightedness to partial vision loss or degenerative disease.
Maybe you’ve had to get a light glasses prescription recently when you’re 22 years old and your vision has always been 20/20. Maybe you’re middle-aged and suddenly experiencing a frustrating diagnosis of macular degeneration. If you have worked with screens over the past few years, blue light very likely could have contributed to changes in your eyes.
Blue blocking technology is becoming a popular fixture of eye wear for a reason: many, many people are affected by blue light in screens. Best practices of eye care say that you need to be honest with your eye specialist about the amount of time you spend in front of a screen. You may notice a huge difference in your health, mood, and work productivity once your glasses lenses incorporate the right personalized coatings to protect your eyes.