Blue Light: Back to School
OMG! My niece, Morgan, is headed to kindergarten. I cannot believe this day has come. As the cool and favorite uncle, I was first in line to take her school shopping. It is a must that my niece has all the essentials for class such as trapper keepers (are they still making them?), crayons, pencils, books and awesome clothes. Although the aforementioned are necessities when it comes to holding the title for the coolest uncle known to mankind, there was one other thing needed. Any ideas? The Morgster needed to have her eyes examined.
Upon examination, Morgan passed with flying colors. Her eyes were healthy from the front surface to the back of the eye and her vision was acute. Although Morgan’s eyes are healthy (expected with her favorite uncle being an optometrist), my sister bombarded me with a plethora of questions. All good questions, but one question that was and is commonly asked was: “what is blue light?” How can it impact Morgan?
Blue Light. What does the sun, personal electronics and television have in common? Blue light! Blue light is part of the visible spectrum. The wavelengths range from 380 to 500 and are perceived as violet blue to light blue. Blue light is known to penetrate deeper into the eye than other wavelengths of light which can be extremely harmful to internal structures of the eye. Blue light is responsible for digital eye strain, increased risk of macular degeneration and can also impact one’s circadian rhythm.
Blue light consumes our lives daily, however kids tend to get it a tad bit worse. A typical day in the life of a kid revolves around learning on a computer, blasted by LED lighting inside the classroom and playing outside under the sun (biggest source of blue light). In addition to the aforementioned, kids spend a tremendous amount of time on personal electronics such as mobile devices or gaming systems. To make matters even worse their pupils are larger so they are more exposed to UV damage.
I always prescribe a general pair of glasses with Transitions Adaptive Lenses technology and sunglasses for every patient who walks through my door. This is important especially for kids. Parents, I understand. “two pairs of glasses?! Dr. Glover you must be out of your mind.” I promise you that I am not. I am just committed to making sure that your kids have the best ocular health. If two pairs are not feasible, having a pair of glasses with transitions will help tremendously. It is basically the same as having two pairs of glasses in one (not a replacement for sunglasses). I really love the benefit of Transitions because it allows for protection against digital eyestrain, light sensitivity and 100% UVA and UVB protection. This lens technology is perfect for the kiddos because all they have to keep up with is one pair of glasses.