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Help Protect Your Child’s Vision From Blue Light

Whether your child is learning, playing games, watching videos, or reading on their digital device, they may be harming their vision. By spending so much time on their digital devices the blue light emanating from the screen can be affecting not only their eyes with digital eye strain but their sleep as well.

As technology transforms the way we live, those who will be impacted the most are our children. Parents and professionals are concerned with the impact these devices currently have on our children, and they want to find the best ways to manage the time spent using them in order to keep kids healthy and strong.

What is Blue Light?

Every color of visible light has a different wavelength and energy level. Colors like red, orange, and yellow have longer wavelengths and carry less energy than colors like blue and purple.

Because blue light carries higher energy, it can easily reach the retina at the back of the eye. Although some of the eye’s structures filter out harmful rays like ultraviolet light, they allow blue light to penetrate.

The sun, digital screens, LED and fluorescent lighting all emit blue light.

Too Much Screen Time Can Lead to Vision Issues

Blue light has more energy and scatters more freely than other light making it difficult to focus on it. As the scattered blue light rays enter the eye, they create visual “noise” that is believed to be partly responsible for digital eye strain symptoms such as watery eyes, headache, blurry vision, and dry eyes. The more time spent staring at screens, the higher the chance of developing eye strain symptoms.

Gazing at the same distance for an extended time can cause the eyes focus to spasm, which causes blurred vision. Another possible symptom that may occur when concentrating on a screen for an extended period of time is eye fatigue which can cause concentration problems and headaches.

Tips on Limiting Screen Time in Young Children

Encouraging children to engage in other activities is important to their health and development. Establishing positive media viewing habits will keep their visual, mental and physical health in check.

  • Avoid digital media use in infants under 18 to 24 months of age.
  • If you want to introduce digital media to your 18-24 month old, choose high-quality programming and make sure to use the media together with your child. Solo media use at this age should be avoided.
  • For children 2 to 5 years of age, limit screen use to 1 hour of high-quality programming per day.
  • 20-20-20 rule: make sure your child takes a 20-second break every 20 minutes and views something 20 feet away.
  • Avoid fast-paced programs and any violent content.
  • Make sure to turn off screens (including television) and other devices when not in use.
  • Refrain from using media as the primary method of calming your child. Although there are cases when media is a useful soothing strategy, doing so regularly can lead to problems with setting limits and can hinder a child’s emotional regulation.
  • Make sure that one hour before bedtime, your child doesn’t use his or her digital device.

While your child uses a digital device, there are ways to protect their eyes from blue light.

  • Purchase glasses with lenses that filter out the amount of blue light that enters the eyes from computers, e-tablets and smartphone screens.
  • Get anti-reflective coating for the eyeglass lenses, as it blocks blue light.
  • Purchase glasses with photochromic lenses. These are sun-sensitive lenses that block some blue light indoors and automatically block additional blue light from the sun.

Technology is the present and the future. By following these tips and measures, you’ll go a long way toward keeping your tech-savvy child seeing clearly and feeling healthy for many years to come.

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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6 Facts About Blue Light & How It Affects Your Eyes

Ever think about light and what it’s made of? All types of visible light, be it from your computer screen, ceiling lamp or the sun, emit rays that have various effects. Most people are aware of the dangers of UV rays from sun exposure and the importance of sunscreen and sunglasses. But what many aren’t aware of is that light shines with a range of different coloured rays that have different amounts of energy, and some pose more of a threat than others. In this article, our Toronto eye doctor discusses blue light.

Basics of Blue Light

In brief, light rays have different wavelengths, and the longer the wavelength, the less energy it has. Conversely, the shorter the wavelength – the higher the amount of energy. Blue light is one of the shortest, highest energy wavelengths of visible light.

What else is essential to know about blue light? Here are six primary points:

  1. You can’t escape blue light; it’s everywhere.

The sun is the main source of natural blue light, but there are numerous artificial sources of blue light, such as LED and fluorescent light, flat-screen TVs, computer monitors, and the screens of all digital devices. While the amount of blue light emitted by these devices is small in comparison to what’s emitted by the sun, the amount of time people spend looking at these devices has raised a red flag for eye care professionals around the world. Eye doctors are concerned about the long-term effects of artificial blue light.

2. Blue light can endanger your future eye health.

Studies have shown that overexposure to blue light can damage retinal cells, leading to changes that increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Over time, macular degeneration can lead to vision loss.

3. Blue light glasses help your eyes block blue light.

While the human eye has some built-in protection against UV radiation reaching the retina at the back of your eyeball, it doesn’t block blue light well. Almost all visible blue light can pass smoothly through your cornea and lens, getting all the way to the retina. Blue light glasses offer an efficient way to prevent overexposure to this radiation. We offer specialty eyewear including blue light glasses at our Toronto optical shop; stop by anytime to learn more.

4. Blue light can cause digital eye strain.

Blue light cannot be focused as easily as other visible light, because it scatters more readily. When you gaze at a digital screen, you subject your eyes to a lot of unfocused visual “noise,” which reduces visual contrast, and can cause the uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain. Blue light glasses (with yellow-tinted lenses) can prevent this disruptive condition and enhance comfort when you’re using a computer or device for long periods.

5. Cataract surgery can increase the risk of blue light on your eyes.

When the natural lens of your eye is removed during cataract surgery, it will be replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL). For optimal eye health, this artificial lens should provide blue light protection. Be sure to discuss the type of IOL that your eye surgeon will use. After surgery, you may benefit from wearing blue light glasses crafted with a special filter in the lenses – especially if you spend a lot of time on the computer.

6. Blue light can also be good for you.

As we discuss all the ways to limit your exposure to blue light, our Toronto eye doctor points out that you also need blue light for good health! Scientific studies have shown it boosts moods, energizes your body, and helps with memory and cognitive function. It also plays a crucial role in regulating circadian rhythm, which is your wake-sleep cycle. On that note, while normal exposure to blue light during the daytime helps you to fall asleep at night, too much blue light late at night will prevent you from slipping peacefully into sleep.

Don’t let blue light disturb your visual comfort during the day or get in the way of a good night’s sleep! Visit our Toronto eye care centre to learn how blue light glasses can help.

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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Computer glasses differ from regular eyeglasses in that they optimize your eyesight when viewing your computer screen.

According to recent studies, 60% of people spend as much as 6 hours a day in front of a computer screen whether it is a computer, tablet, smartphone or other gadgets. Without computer eyeglasses, many digital device users end up with blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches.

Device screens emit "blue light" or high-energy visible (HEV) light, which is a known cause of computer vision syndrome, sleep disruptions and other potential dangers to the eyes. Blue light radiation is naturally emitted from the sun, but also artificially from television screens, electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting.

Computer glasses have 60% the magnifying power of reading glasses. Optimal magnification depends on how far you prefer to sit from your computer screen and how close you like to hold your digital devices.

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What is Blue Light?


Emitted from the sun, blue light is naturally occurring in the world around us. On the spectrum of visible light (light that humans can see), blue light has the highest energy and the shortest wavelength.

It is also sometimes known as blue-violet or violet light, which is where ultraviolet (UV) light rays that are just beyond our perception get their name. Much like ultraviolet light, blue light has both dangers and benefits to our health, particularly to our eyes.

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Finding The Right Pair


There lots of options for computer glasses, even some that are designed for device users without a prescription or to wear with contact lenses.

When shopping for computer glasses we want to be sure you find the right pair. Ask us about your options! Here are some of the options available.

While all of these are good options for protecting your eyes, the 20/20/20 rule still applies, Every 20 minutes of near vision tasks, look at something beyond 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Eye exams are important to test your focusing ability, and to ensure that both eyes are working and focusing at the same place. Many people do not have the same prescription in each eye.

Good candidates for computer glasses is anyone working at a computer for more than two hours per day, call center employees, graphic artists, secretaries and accountants. When it’s time for a coffee break or to drive home, simply switch to your distance glasses or progressives. Having the correct glasses for your computer work can make the difference between being exhausted at the end of the day versus staying refreshed and ready to enjoy your time off.

What Are Your Options?


Single Vision Computer Glasses

Provide the optimum lens power and field of view for viewing your computer screen without straining or leaning in to reduce symptoms of CVS.

These are ideal for when the computer is at a fixed working distance and work well if the user needs to view multiple screens at the same working distance.

Office Lenses or Progressive Lenses

No-line multifocal eyewear that can be made to correct near, intermediate and some distance vision with a larger intermediate zone for computer vision if indicated.

Perfect for those with presbyopia which is the gradual loss of focusing ability that occurs naturally with age. Office lenses work like progressive lenses but provide a wider field of view for intermediate (1-3 m) viewing distance and near working distance (about 40 cm).

Blue-Blocking Lenses

Definitely recommended for this electronic age, blue-blocking lenses block blue light emitted from computer screens that are associated with glare, eye strain, and possible sleep disturbances.

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How Do Computer Glasses Work?

As people move from their computer to their tablet to their phone, more and more of these symptoms are seen, and in younger and younger people. Computer glasses offer a solution to reduce the strain on your eyes and your exposure to blue light radiation. If you experience any pain or discomfort call Corktown Eyecare at 647-694-7600.

Computer glasses reduce eye strain by adjusting the focus slightly so that your eyes feel like they are focusing on something further away. They also have a tint to remove the glare and block blue light from entering into your eyes.

They specialized glasses designed to emphasize comfortable intermediate viewing, helping your eyes more easily focus on the computer screen with less effort and making computer viewing over an extended period of time noticeably more comfortable.

The lenses are equipped with special coatings or lenses that are made to filter the harmful blue light waves. By filtering out harmful HEV rays they make extended computer use more comfortable while reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration in the future and other vision health issues.

The Effects of Digital Eye Strain


eye-retinal-imaging

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults experience digital eye strain as a result of the growing use of computers and digital devices. Adults aged 18 to 34 report feeling eye strain at a higher rate (45%) than their older counterparts.

computer-eye

New research also suggests that overexposure to blue light, also referred to as high-energy visible or HEV light, may contribute to vision problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

glasses

Implications are just now being studied, but the short-term impact of digital eye strain affects individuals on a daily basis. Eye care providers are noting a steady rise in the incidence of myopia as well, which research suggests could be correlated to the increase of screen time and near focusing.

ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect

The ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect lenses filter out wavelengths of blue-violet that are shorter than 440nm — the range of light which is considered by eye doctors to be the most dangerous.

By blocking only these very high energy wavelengths, the ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect coating protects your eyes from retinal cell damage, phototoxicity, and disruptions to your sleep cycle while allowing beneficial frequencies of blue light through. You will be protected with clear and true-color vision while still enjoying the benefits of blue light.

Shamir Blue Zero

Shamir uses a unique polymer formula to produce these high-tech lenses. The Shamir Blue Zero High Index 1.67 and Trivex lenses block up to 98% of high energy blue light in the 415-435 nm range. The Shamir Blue Zero Polycarbonate lenses block up to 50%.

This allows you to enjoy significant protection from blue light while still enjoying crisp, clear, and true-color vision. On average, Shamir Blue Zero blocks about three times the amount of harmful blue light as compared to standard clear lenses.

Hoya BlueControl

These lenses from Hoya provides blue light protection along with excellent contrast and reduced glare for clear and comfortable viewing of digital devices in a way which reduces eye strain and improves color perception.