It’s a devious by-product of our technological era.
Secretly, it secretes from our digital screens all day, every day.
You wouldn’t know it, reading this article on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone.
Right now? You're staring into high energy blue-light (HEV)which is basically unavoidable if you happen to use any of these digital items.
Which is pretty likely considering that the average working adult in the UK spends two months of their year staring at a computer screen.
During the morning commute, lunch break or sofa-scrolling, it’s a heck of a lot of exposure.
If you stopped reading, we’d forgive you. But please don’t.
We have many important things to share with you about digital eye protection.
“For millions now, staring at a screen all day is the norm.
“However if you look back just a few decades, far fewer of us would have spent the day looking into the same glowing rectangle, and when you add mobile phones into the mix, we’re putting our eyes through a lot every day.”
Original research by Katie McGeechan for ACUVUE.
The effects of blue light...is a bit of grey area.
This controversial wavelength of light seems as good as it is bad.
Let's take a closer look.
Blue light positives
At the right dosage, blue light has it's health benefits.
After all, it's part of the sun's light spectrum that surrounds us each and everyday.
Blue light therapy can be suggested as a way to help with seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, and sleeping pattern.
For those who struggle with winter depression, blue light can be used to try and boost your overall sense of happiness during the dark winter months.
Those "happy lamps" we've heard of?
They punch out simulated daylight which also contains the blue light wavelength. This technique is suggested but not proven to help boost the brain-chemical "serotonin" to fight depression.
For the the one in 15 of us that suffer with this condition, blue light mightn’t seem all that sinister on a 6AM January, Monday morning commute.
Blue light negatives
On the flipside, high energy visible light (HEV) has been reported to prematurely age your eyes.
This sounds extreme but on the electromagnetic light spectrum, HEV is next-door neighbours to UV.
Temporarily taking you back to high-school science here, do you remember good old RYOGBIV? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Ring a bell?
Ahem. Anyway, this means that the light emitted from digital devices isn’t far off the same frequency to the light emitted by the sun. We definitely remember that old lesson.
Don’t stare at the burning ball of fiery gas in the sky.
It’ll destroy your eyes.”
Let’s be clear though.
Your iPhone isn’t anywhere near as visually destructive as the sun. No need to lock it in a lead-lined room just yet…
However, long-term exposure to HEV is beginning to become a cause for concern, especially amongst young adults. As you can imagine, this digitalised demographic are renowned for their insatiable smartphone addiction.
As an extreme example, some adolescents in the UK are reported to spend up to a staggering 6 hours per day glued to their brightly lit smartphone. Heading into early adult life, these hours of exposure to blue light is considered as a contributing factor towards presbyopia.
Yes. A twenty something year old may have self-aged their eyes to that of a 40 year old’s.
The science to support this claim is in its infancy but it’s apparent that HEV is becoming a concern for our eyes.
“Most people are aware that ultraviolet (UV) light is harmful to the eye and may contribute to the development of cataracts and other eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
UV light is the portion of the spectrum below 400 nm.4 While the most abundant source of UV light is the sun, other sources include welder's flash, video display terminals, such as computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones, and fluorescent lighting.”
Presbyopia is a naturally occurring eye condition that becomes noticeable at around the age of 40.
Over time, your eye muscles that contract the crystalline lens in your eye begin to weaken.
At the same time, your eye-lens can also begin to thicken and stiffen which makes lens-contraction more difficult. This degeneration leads to requirement for close-reading glasses as you gradually find it more and more difficult to focus on close-distance reading.
Texting on your phone can gradually become "trumbone texting".
Should I be worried about blue light then?
Undeniably, we're bombarded with HEV.
Screens are now very much part of our lives at every turn we take.
Until the manufacturers can cut the HEV from digital screens, prescription blue light glasses are arguably a good deterrent against this inevitable exposure.
Even if you don’t need to wear glasses in the first place.
Blue light lenses can benefit those who have lengthy interactions with almost any digital screen. Frankly, that’s pretty much any of us these days and it’s no wonder that we receive regular orders for non-prescription computer glasses.
These requests are usually for plain-prescription or single-vision glasses for digital eye protection.
It’s certainly a battle for our eyes these days.
Image by creative agency: Department Two
Blue blocking lenses can be added to any of our optical frames to filter out or absorb high energy visible light.
These lenses are coated to filter out most of the blue light that is being emitted from digital screens such as computers, tablets of smartphones.
The best blue light glasses benefits you to help you work for longer in front of screens, reducing your eye’s exposure to the frequency of HEV.
This is achieved by multiple protective layers which are coated onto the lenses raw surface. Once applied, these lens-layers either absorb or reflect the damaging wavelength/s of blue light which occurs at 380 nm to 450 nm.
Some blue blocking lenses can have a yellow hue to them as part of their functionality. Thankfully, our ultra blue light blocking lenses avoid this and have a far more appealing tint of blue.
For the marginal extra cost, our blue blocking lenses are particularly good at reducing glare and increasing the contrast of digital screens.
This is known to reduce the effort that your eyes undertake during sustained screen-work.
He wears spectacle model: D - TRT
What is digital eye strain?
Otherwise known as DES, digital eye strain is a considerable side-effect of extended computer usage.
Blue light blocking glasses are recommended to alleviate the effects of DES by reducing the intensity of screen-work, whether your lenses have corrective power or not.
DES consists of various symptoms which can affect your occupational life and day to day comfort.
If any of the symptoms listed below seem familiar, you’re may already suffer with DES.
Learn more about computer glasses here.
Women's spectacle model: C - TRT
Let’s face it, high-energy-visible light is practically unavoidable.
We’re surrounded by screens, whether we’re in work or in the comfort of our own homes. A good pair of blue light glasses for work or studying is probably a good idea…
But should you wear them?
Simply put, blue-light-blocking glasses are a good way to reduce the effects of digital strain on your eyes.
The ever-present and disruptive glare from LED screens may already be causing you to suffer with itchy or irritated eyes, headaches or even computer vision syndrome (CVS.)
CVS is comparable to repetitive movement syndrome; it’s too much of the same thing for too long.
Long periods of visual focus at the same brightly lit screen will inevitably take its toll on your eyes. Over the course of a day, the effort to sustain visual focus will eventually strain your eyes to the point where itchiness or fatigue will set in.
Even worse, headaches.
If this sounds familiar to you, anti blue light spectacles are certainly a consideration if you already wear glasses.
These lenses can be easily integrated into your next pair of glasses.
If you don’t already wear glasses, certain occupations can call for a pair of “plano” (non prescription) blue light eyeglasses. Amongst graphic designers, photographers and copywriters, these glasses can be helpful to reduce computer eye strain throughout the working day.
Blue light filter glasses can help with headaches in a number of ways.
Vision: Regardless of digital use, your use of correctly prescribed corrective lenses is going to help you focus more clearly. Whether you’re long or short sighted, the proper strength of optical lenses will reduce the likelihood of an eye-strain induced headache.
Anti Glare: Blue light blocking glasses can also minimise headaches as they can reduce the glare from harshly lit screens, LED’s and fluorescently lit environments. This reduction of intrusive light can alleviate the chances of headaches via their anti-glare properties.
Filter: Finally, blue light filter glasses can reduce the amount of HEV that passes through to your eye. This damaging light frequency can be disruptive to your sleeping patterns, body clock and can lead to headaches.
If these aren’t suitable reasons to invest in anti-blue light lens coatings, then we’re all out of reasons.
Fight the blue light.
Blue light eyeglasses are a good start, but there are other ways to minimise digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome and those rubbish headaches.
Sounds good right?
Obviously, it’s a good idea to intersperse your screen time with analogue tasks. Good old-fashioned writing can be used to break-up long periods in front of the computer to help reduce your chances of headaches.
Besides blue light, there are many causes for headaches which can also come from your glasses. You might not realise that your current pair of spectacles, your diet or your sleep can be all be causes for migraine.
The best blue light blocking glasses are those that are made well, that fit well and look great.
Your choice of frame is entirely up to you but the best protection from HEV light is going to come from a good quality of lens.
At Banton Frameworks, we offer an ultra blue light blocking lens coating. This overlay can be added to any of our lens types; single vision, computer, distance, bifocal or varifocal.
You can simply select this feature in the lens coating section at the foot of our lens menu.
Currently, our ultra blue light blocking lens coating is £25.
What are the best blue blocking glasses?
At Banton Frameworks we hand make our glasses frames in our workshop facility in the outskirts of Glasgow.
From acetate sheet to online shop, we proudly make our own computer glasses from the highest quality materials and bespoke components.
Our frames are anti blue light glasses UK, through and through.
If you do opt for a blue light blocking lens coating, we can fit these to any of our optical frames you choose.
Jamie Bartlett: co-founder
I'm pretty sure anyone these days could benefit from an ultra blue light lens coating.
For the slight extra cost, it's going to give you that extra bit of protection from your computer or TV screens.
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