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.
Why would we want to block it from our eyes?
There are negative effects of blue light given that our eyes act as poor blue light filters. We have to keep in mind that many of these digital devices we use, and the types of lighting that we are exposed to, are relatively new developments for us. Even the best inventions have associated "cons." And while it’s important we continue to use energy efficient lighting, like LEDs, we need to protect ourselves from short-term and potential long-term negative effects.
What are the effects of too much blue light exposure?
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.
- Digital Eye Strain (DES)--also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)--is a group of symptoms associated with the overuse of digital devices. They include eye fatigue, headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision, dry eyes, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, itchy eyes, and general eye discomfort. While DES is not permanent, it is aggravating, comfortable, and distracting.
Blue light can contribute to Digital Eye Strain for a variety of reasons. Its high frequency light can stress out the eye. Additionally, LEDs can be bothersome because of the distinct contrast and sensitivity from the powerful light and surrounding environment. Glare also contributes to Digital Eye Strain, which computer screens produce.
- Poor Sleep: Blue light suppresses melatonin secretion, which is a chemical that makes us sleepy and helps manage our circadian rhythm. The sun produces both UV light and blue light. Ten thousand years ago, this blue light would enable us to wake up in the morning and be tired by the nighttime when there was no blue light. However, today’s world has changed quite a bit. Most of us are up into the night and many times in front of our screens (staying late at work, watching TV, reading on our phone or tablet).
Because of this, we expose ourselves to blue light way past the time that we’re supposed to receive it. As such, blue light can be one of the reasons that it’s hard for many of us to fall asleep.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important. More and more studies link poor sleep with poor health. Scientists have shown that it can increase our weight while others have linked poor sleep to certain cancers. While some studies are still yet to be confirmed, it’s clear that sleeping well is important to health, let alone our productivity.
- Macular Degeneration: Just as UV light can harm our cornea and skin, more and more studies are linking an overexposure of blue light to macular degeneration. The macula is part of the retina, which is a vital part of our vision; without it, we cannot see.
There are eye doctors that believe the overexposure to blue light, due in large part to our dependency on digital devices, can damage our retina. Some reference the increased prevalence of macular degeneration, as well as people developing it at younger ages.
Who is at risk from too much blue light?
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.
Being careful about macular degeneration is particularly important to older generations that have had cataract surgery. Starting by the time we’re 40, our eyes start to develop a pigment that naturally filters blue light. However, cataract patients have this removed from their lens and therefore are highly susceptible to blue light. There are studies suggesting that exposure to excessive blue light might have as much a hand in cataract development as UV light does.
Anyone, of any age, who spends time under LEDs, fluorescent lighting, and uses digital devices for any length of time would benefit from protecting their eyes from excessive blue light exposure.
Further statistics on digital eye strain from The Vision Council of America:
With an increase in digital technology, many individuals suffer from physical discomfort after screen use for longer than two hours at a time. The Vision Council refers to this collection of symptoms as digital eye strain.
More than 83 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, and 53.1 percent report using two digital devices simultaneously, with 60.5 percent reporting experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.
What is the Impact?
Americans report experiencing the following symptoms of digital eye strain:
- 32.6 percent report experiencing eye strain
- 22.7 percent report experiencing dry eyes
- 21.4 percent report experiencing headache
- 22 percent report experiencing blurred vision
- 30.8 percent report experiencing neck and shoulder pain
Americans are becoming increasingly digitized, with more of our daily tasks moving online. For example:
- 75.6 percent use a computer to do research
- 56.6 percent use a smart phone as an alarm clock
- 54.2 percent use a computer to go shopping
- 53.7 percent use a smart phone to check the weather
- 48.7 percent use a computer to find a recipe
Digital eye strain is becoming a family affair, affecting all age groups. The following report using digital devices for more than two hours per day:
- 87.7 percent of those ages 18 to 39
- 82.6 percent of those ages 40 to 59
- 76.3 percent of those ages 60 and up
How to alleviate digital eye strain?
Eyewear is available with lenses featuring digital eye strain-reducing capabilities. However, individuals don't have to sacrifice style for function when it comes to eyewear. These specialized lenses can be incorporated into virtually any pair of frames, so individuals can choose eyewear that complements their personal look, while meeting their eye health needs.
Many people are unaware of the solutions available to combat digital eye strain – in fact, 71 percent of Americans report they have not discussed their digital device usage with their eyecare provider, and 72.6 percent reported they did not know eyewear can be used to protect the eyes from short- and long-term effects of digital eye strain.
Our clear non-magnifying lenses are ideal for gaming, and those who want eye protection without any need for magnification power.
Why Clear blue light lenses for gaming?
- Various studies have proven that prolonged exposure to blue light from TV screens, computer monitors, and other digital devices can cause eye strain, disrupted sleep, and loss of visual contrast. Our lenses help to keep your eyes relaxed and still keep your visual contrast at it's best. Especially if being in front of a screen for extended periods of time.
- The concept of tinted yellow/amber gaming glasses is based on studies that rely on the perceived benefit from users and very little objective data. The tinted lenses usually do not provide benefits when gaming, and more likely cause visual distortion and reduction in contrast.
- It's the blue light emitted that contributes to eye strain and loss of contrast. Reducing color perception does not give an advantage when gaming, or at any time where visual clarity is needed.
Exit Lens blue light protection is not a film, tint, or coating, our blue light filter is built into the lens material itself. The protection will not fade, peel, or wear off over time.