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The Benefit of Blue Blocker Lenses

photo-25-F iphone 3You know the importance of wearing eye protection when spending time outdoors in the sun – but what about protection from the electronic devices you use every day? If you regularly spend time in front of a screen, it might be more necessary than you think.

Computers, smartphones, flat screen televisions and even LED light bulbs emit blue light, which studies have shown to cause irreversible damage to the retina. Not only is this a major contributor of digital stress, but it can also increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Considered an incurable disease, macular degeneration is caused by a deterioration of the macula – the central part of the retina responsible for recording images and sending them to the brain. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people 60 and older.

Although all of us have a genetic baseline for developing macular degeneration, environmental exposure to blue light, along with diet and overall health, may be impacting our odds of developing the disease. Because the cells of the retina are unable to regenerate, any damage accumulates over time – making children particularly vulnerable. Adding to this risk is the fact that children also lack a protective pigment that helps filter blue light and prevent damage.

In fact, research shows that most blue light exposure occurs before children turn 18 years old.

 Blocking Blue Light

In an effort to help patients protect their eyes, Northampton Vision Specialists recently introduced Blue Blocker lenses, which are being recommended to anyone who uses a computer or other digital device for more than a few hours each day. The specialized coating can be applied to any new lens and is virtually undetectable. In fact, the only visual cue is that the lenses give off a very faint blue hue at certain angles. “We’ve received very positive feedback so far,” optician Karin Chevalier said. “Patients have said they can tell the difference – they’re not getting as many headaches and aren’t getting as fatigued from sitting in front of a computer.”

The advanced technology of the Blue Blocker lenses is able to block these harmful, blue wavelengths (along with UV light), while at the same time allowing violet light through. Although very closely related to blue light, violet spectrum light is very beneficial in helping with circadian rhythm, cognitive performance, memory and mood enhancement.

For those who wear contact lenses, or don’t require prescription eyewear, the office can also create non-prescription Blue Blocker lenses.

For more information on Blue Blocker lenses and how they can benefit you and your family, please contact our office.

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