Blue Light & Eye Health
I want to focus on blue light spectacle lens filters this month. It has become apparent that social media is awash with adverts for blue light filter spectacles which have varying claims of screen protection and success. It is no surprise that savvy companies have seen a gap in the market for eyewear that claims to aid visual comfort when looking at any screen for hours on end.
But what is blue light and where does it come from?
Here are the facts (information from Hoya).
- Blue light comes from many sources – sun, lightbulbs, LED screens.
- Blue light filters have actually been around for over 5 years but only now seem to have gained momentum most likely due to advertising, mainly on social media.
- Blue light exposure at night has been shown to affect the quality of sleep (there is also research into circadian rhythm effects and sleep cycle influences).
- There is ongoing research into blue light including the loss of antioxidant and anticancer functioning.
Essentially, we know there is a lot more blue light exposure to all screen users now than there was even 5 years ago and the research into the consequences of this are ongoing as the cumulative increase in blue light exposure to users will only become apparent over time.
Anecdotally those patients with high screen use, visual strain, ocular fatigue or even headaches triggered by screen use have frequently reported that the use of a blue light filter has improved their symptoms and visual comfort. Ultimately the science will guide us in what we recommend but the evidence is becoming more robust. Spectacle lens companies are responding with more and more innovative products to protect the visual system from blue light.
For those of you who follow Arthur Hayes on Instagram and Facebook you will have already seen the fabulous new collection of Walter & Herbert spectacle frames featured in some latest posts. I particularly like the story of this English company as their journey begins in 1946, the same year as Arthur Hayes Opticians opened its doors.
In Walter and Herbert’s case in the September of 1946, two young entrepreneurs partnered to create Optoplast Manufacturing Company Limited. In the 40 years that followed, Walter Conway and Herbert Thorn enjoyed great success designing and manufacturing the first NHS frames ever developed. Some of you may remember these. Simple, well made, classic and often fondly recollected.
Today Walter & Herbert’s grandsons, James Conway and Daniel Thorn, are continuing this legacy. Using seven decades of industry experience, they have created their own collection of frames using materials and techniques that have moved with the times with regard to innovation but have kept the classic look of vintage eyewear. Each of the frames have been carefully considered, undergoing a lengthy design and development process. With a nod to English icons the frames are named Huxley, Churchill, Hepworth to name just a few. Quite simply they are a beautiful and thoughtfully made eyewear brand, manufactured in Liverpool.
I hope this blog post has been of some help and I look forward to welcoming you in practice again soon.